ISHPEMING — A group of students in the Upper Peninsula took home the grand prize in a statewide video contest earlier this week.

Business communications students at Ishpeming High School — a group known for producing the INews student news program — were recently awarded $3,000 for coming in first place in Honor Credit Union’s Third Annual Video Challenge. Participating students from around the state were given the task of creating a video for Honor’s Mobile App highlighting the theme of “Honor On the Go.”

“So we came up with an idea to do one where we had someone walking in the woods,” said Kaylee Ronn, a senior in the class and producer for INews. “Being in the U.P., you know we have a pretty setting. So we did that, and it was really fun and it was really cool.”

“It’s a really nice accomplishment, you know?” said Nate Meyer, editor on the project. “It’s great when you get a lot of good feedback from the people that you did it for saying, ‘oh gosh, this is wonderful. Thank you so much.'”

Projects like this don’t just allow students to hone their creative skills. Real–world job skills are also emphasized by the class work.

“This class is set up just like any work environment would be,” said business education teacher Scott Syrjala. “You come in and, you know, it’s almost like they punch in and they go to work. So I think organizing, working under pressure, those are all real–world aspects that sometimes you don’t always get in the sit–down classroom”

As for the winnings, the plan is to use them to expand the class’s media education possibilities.

“We’re going to buy a new camera with it. We’re buying new editing equipment with it,” added Syrjala. “Microphones, lights, different things so that our kids can have more unique experiences and learn a little bit more, and you know, we get more cameras out there, and if we have more cameras, that’s more video we can shoot and other PSAs and commercials that we can do as well.”

“I’m excited for the next classes to come up and be able to have new equipment and new software. It will be really cool,” Ronn said.

Students from Negaunee Middle School also received an honorable mention award from Honor Credit Union.

“To have two U.P. schools be the top like that in a statewide video contest is definitely a feather in our cap,” said Syrjala.