The cameras were rolling at Mayfield Plastics Inc. in Sutton, Mass., earlier this year, and the results proved to be quite rewarding for students from Sutton Middle School and the company.
Two videos produced by the students earned their school $5,000 in the 2015 Amp It Up! Campaign sponsored by Mass Development, the state's economic development agency, and Mayfield has more people in town knowing what they do.
“We were contacted by the teacher. She said that they were doing extracurricular activities and wondered if Mayfield would help. They shot some videos and used us as the focal point,” said Paul Davidson, sales manager at Mayfield.
Originally, the plan was to allow a few students to visit the plant for part of a day, but that number grew quickly.
“We agreed to do it and actually got a lot more students interested. We actually did it over three days — about 20 kids each day,” he said.
Ellen Sora, account manager and business development manager at Mayfield, joined with Davidson to host the students and was impressed with their efforts.
“The enthusiasm of the kids and the quality of videos were excellent,” she said.
Sora said that the students worked in small groups, usually three to five students, and overall they produced 11 videos. She said they shot videos of what was happening while employees explained thermoforming and what Mayfield makes.
Davidson said the students started by watching a Society of Plastics Engineers video explaining thermoforming, then they reviewed sample parts and participated in question-and-answer sessions before and after a plant tour. They talked about computer-aided design, materials, preparation and how to thermoform products.
The winning video efforts were entitled “Amp it Up! A Guide to Thermoforming,” and “An Amp it up! Special: Mayfield Plastics,” and each earned $2,500 for their schools.
MassDevelopment spokeswoman Kelsey Abbruzzese, said the Amp it Up! Program started in 2012 to promote advanced manufacturing capabilities in the state.
“At Mayfield Plastics and Universal Plastics, introducing young people to thermoforming is a big focus for us,” said Pia Kumar, director of corporate development for Mayfield and sister company Universal Plastics Corp of Holyoke.