By Chris Collins
A two-minute video produced by four Baker High School business management students has won second place in a national competition.
The video was made for a contest sponsored by NOCTI, the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute.
Seniors Tonita Britt and Jesse Cunningham and sophomores Brian Johnson and Caroline Dudley produced the video using iPads and the iVideo application.
Teacher Toni Zikmund said it all started when she signed up to be part of the Perkins Career and Technical Ed Tech Pack team through the Grant County Education Service District.
Participating teachers received an iPad and training with the requirement that they create a video and enter it in the contest.
The students took it from there, Zikmund said, adding that they went into the contest with a confident attitude.
"They told me from Day 1 they were going to win," she said.
Still, Johnson admitted he was surprised to hear that the video had done so well.
"At first I was speechless, pretty much," he said.
The video production is centered on the contest theme of "The Hands-On Power of CTE!" (Career Technical Education). The goal was "to showcase the value and relevance of CTE in building the nation's workforce," according to the NOCTI website.
The Baker team members took their project into the community to document how the skills students are learning are linked to future careers.
"We spent two weeks getting the videos taken," Britt said.
Fifteen minutes of footage was trimmed to seven minutes and then to the required two-minute limit.
Zikmund attributed the video's success to the light-hearted background music that sets the pace for the succinct series of photos accompanied by brief descriptions of classes and corresponding occupations.
The award-winning video includes shots of band students' hands as they learn skills that could lead to a musical career like that of their teacher Deann Sands, who also is featured in the production.
Hands of students in a BHS drafting class are paired with the hands of workers at the Banner Bank construction site.
And accounting students' hands are coupled with the hands of professional accountant Anna Christensen, an employee at Britt Sand and Gravel.
The working hands of greenhouse students transition to the green of Quail Ridge Golf Course and the job of golf course manager Billy Cunningham.
Art students are shown working on pottery, which leads to footage of a professional artist working at Crossroads Carnegie Art Center. And photos of students in the BHS nutrition class are followed by the hands of Jenny Mowe-Joseph working at her business, Sweet Wife Baking.
"They really did an awesome job of sticking with the theme," Zikmund said. "They took it literally and applied it."
In fact, they literally applied their own hands to the project, painting them with the contest sponsor acronym, NOCTI, to conclude the production.
The team was awarded $250 and a class pizza party. The money must be used to benefit the business management class, Zikmund said.
The second-place finish is even more impressive, considering the nationwide competition. The first-place winner was a team from Campolindo High School at Lafayette, Calif. Honorable mention awards went to Jefferson College of Hillsboro, Mo., and Berks Career and Technology Center of Leesport, Pa.
The BHS team members expressed their appreciation to the businesses that were willing to participate in the production.
"It was great the community was so willing to help," Britt said. "They were great with catering to us and being helpful to us."
Aside from the pizza party and the glory of the win, the students earned no extra credit for the project.
"It was just an assignment - a big assignment," Zikmund said.
And their grade?
"100 percent!" she said.
To watch the videos go to: