Edge Factor Announces Top 3 Contenders for Reality Redesigned Student Competition

Here it is! The moment we’ve all been waiting for… Edge Factor is announcing the top three teams from Reality Redesigned in Randolph County that will advance to Round 2: the reality TV series.

April 6, 2017. Randolph, NC. – The results are officially in! Edge Factor is excited to announce the top three contenders of the Reality Redesigned student design competition in partnership with Randolph Community College. For the last few weeks, the Celebrity Judges featuring Meghan West, President of Mastercam, Peter Zelinski, Editor-in-Chief of Modern Machine Shop and Additive Manufacturing magazines, and Montez King, Executive Director of NIMS have combed through each of the top 15 submissions. They have now come to a consensus and we are excited to announce the top three teams that won Round 1 and will advance to compete in a nail-biting design challenge on the Reality Redesigned TV series.

Click here to watch the top 3 contenders announcement video!

The Teams that won Round 1 are…

  1. “The Puffee” Design by the Big Boiz team from Uwharrie Charter
  2. “The Kitty Contraptor” by the Team Warriors from Uwharrier Charter
  3. “The Stainless Steal-less Mug” by the team Mooks from Trinity High School

Congratulations! These three top teams competed against students from 18 schools in Randolph County to design solutions to outrageous story-driven scenarios by uploading team videos, pictures of drawings, CAD models, planning documents, estimating costs with the “Wild-Guestimator”, and uploaded other innovative ways to share their problem-solving descriptions.

“Edge Factor wants to say a huge thank you to every single student and team that put their thinking caps on, merged their left and right brain thinking to come up with creative solutions and put their best efforts in. Keep coming up with ideas, keep imagining new possibilities, keep connecting your ideas with your hands, and you are bound to succeed,” said Josh Pies, Edge Factor Producer and Co-Creator of Reality Redesigned. “For the top three contenders, we can’t wait to reveal the design challenge you will need to solve to take the top spot in the reality TV series!”

Now that the three teams have been chosen for Round 2, Edge Factor is preparing to roll cameras for the reality TV series being filmed at the Gene Haas Computer-Integrated Machining Institute at Randolph Community College in late April. The teams will face-off to solve a real-world challenge with a toolbox of resources and only 84 hours to dream, design, build and get ready to present their ideas. 3D Design, CNC machining, welding, and 3D printing will come alive as ideas flow from their heads to their hands.

“Man. I wish, WISH, I had an opportunity like this when I was in high school! The technology that now exists to turn our dreams and ideas into reality through manufacturing are light years beyond the capabilities I had as a young person,” said Kris Julian, Dir. of Marketing at Randolph Community College. “I’m so excited to see what our future holds in the hands of these young people.”

The three teams will present their 84 Hour Challenge creations to the Judges in front of a live audience of their peers. The Judges will go into sequester and the contestants will take a limo to a party with some of the most influential business leaders in the area. Broadcasting live from the ‘Party with the Presidents’, the Judges will make the announcement of the winner of Reality Redesigned: the “Stack your deck” pilot series. Stay tuned on Edge Factor’s Facebook page for the latest updates!

For more information, contact Josh Pies at jpies@edgefactor.com.


Larissa Hofman
(716) 805-3343 ext. 406

VOTE NOW: Reality Redesigned Student Competition & TV Show

Randolph, North Carolina – Calling all parents and students! The adventure continues as Edge Factor and Randolph Community College enter the voting phase for the Reality Redesigned student design contest and TV reality show. This audacious mission to empower students to become makers is challenging parents’ perceptions of manufacturing careers and inspiring the Randolph community to bring ideas to life. Reality Redesigned, known as a creative mashup of storytelling meets inventor, “Chopped” meets “Cards against Humanity” meets “Shark Tank”, is a design competition for  students to connect with industry and educational mentors and collaboratively design solutions to outrageous scenarios.

Teams from 18 schools in Randolph County designed solutions to unique problem stories by uploading team videos, pictures of drawings, CAD models, planning documents, estimating costs with the “Wild-Guestimator”, and uploaded other innovative ways to share their problem-solving descriptions.

“Reality Redesigned is an absolutely amazing opportunity to engage our Randleman High School students, merge their critical thinking and problem solving skills with creative ideas and design,” said Stephanie Adams, Career Development Coordinator at Randleman High School. “It has opened the door for cross disciplinary teaching like nothing else.”

The deadline to submit closed on March 8, 2017 on the “Day of Reckoning” which marked the beginning of a public voting period and the Commencement of Judging by our Celebrity Panel of Experts. From the 350+ individuals who entered the competition, the top 50 students and mentors, comprising 17 teams have been specially chosen to enter the next stage of the competition: public voting! The Randolph community is cheering on these teams and voting on their favorite design solutions. These public votes will contribute 10% to the overall audition scores and help the top 3 designs make it to the final competition stage: the reality TV show with an 84 challenge to solve a real-world design challenge, happening in April 2017!

“Students never cease to amaze us. Their blue-ocean imaginations yield truly remarkable, out-of-the-box ideas. Reality Redesigned is a catalyst for inspiration and fosters a creative outlet for students to come up with problem-solving design ideas,” said Joshua Pies, Edge Factor Producer and Co-Creator of Reality Redesigned.

Teams have already reached 3600+ total votes. Show your support for local students and vote for YOUR favorite design today at RealityRedesigned.com! Voting closes on March 30, 2017.

COMMENT YOUR THOUGHTS: Do you think there are benefits to experiential learning?

Upcoming Benchmarks:

  • March 21: Celebrity Judges are revealed.
  • March 30: Public voting closes.
  • March 31: Judging concludes.
  • April 5: Announcement of Top 3 Teams who will move on to the 84 Hour Challenge.
  • April 24 – 28: Edge Factor films the 84 Hour Challenge – Reality TV Show
  • April 28: LIVE Judging Finale +  Big “Party with the Presidents”

5 Ways to Breathe Life into your Manufacturing Community

From David Bowie to Harper Lee, Alan Rickman to Carrie Fisher, the world has recently said goodbye to tremendously talented people with ambitious entrepreneurial spirits, many of whom approached their work with an attitude of “good is never good enough.” I can’t help but wonder: 40 years from now, who will we mourn for? What type of legacies will today’s millennials leave us with?

In the world of design, technology and advanced manufacturing, the opportunities to leave a lasting legacy are astounding. Companies that create everything from planes to drums, cameras to self driving cars are all in desperate need of the same thing: For the next generation of innovative dreamers to carry the torch, to dream, to invent, to create and ultimately, to usher in “the new normal.”

But we are faced with the harsh reality that unless something radically changes, an estimated 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be left unfilled by 2020. The legacies and future of North American manufacturing companies – especially small and medium sized businesses – are in jeopardy. Too few are entering the workforce.

The manufacturing industry is like a patient in critical condition, being rushed from an ambulance into the hospital ER. The patient is lifted off the stretcher and put on a bed, as doctors and nurses yell, “Code Blue! Grab the resuscitation paddles! The patient’s fading!” But who will answer their call? Who will actually grab the paddles?! Where is the team who is willing to cut the patient’s clothes off to discover where the real problem areas are? Who will stop the bleeding? Who is charging those paddles and trumpeting, “CLEAR!” to revive our industry’s heartbeat? For the last five years, I have worked side by side with Jeremy Bout, the Founder of Edge Factor, cultivating a team of people who hold those CPR paddles every day and jolt manufacturing communities, educational programs and workforce development initiatives with as much force as our machine can muster.

Edge Factor is a leader in providing cinematic, story-driven media and supporting resources to inspire the next generation of makers. We have witnessed the magic that happens when students take ideas from their heads, connect them with their hands and use technology to bring them to life. Based on Edge Factor’s cinematic films and TV series, we launched a “Netflix-style” distribution platform of cinematic media and story-driven, interactive resources called eduFACTOR, to equip educators and business leaders with tools to connect with their communities. Edge Factor stories serve as the catalysts for inspiration and the accompanying resources and interactive activities empower people to make science, technology, engineering, architecture and mathematics (STEAM) relevant for students. These resources help market Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, teach career pathways from career clusters, build hands-on projects, host engaging events, and much more.

As a data-driven team, Edge Factor operates with a structured freedom to push the boundaries of creative solutions regionally and nationally. Edge Factor partners with some of the biggest brands in the world and has built a reputation for accomplishing audacious goals with measured outcomes. We have schools and companies in 43 states and eight provinces using these resources to move the needle and inspire students, parents, educators and business leaders.

So how can you grab the resuscitation paddles to impact your community?

1. Build bridges

Connect with industry leaders, schools, economic and workforce development associations, and organizations in your local area. Learn about the initiatives that are currently in place. What’s working and what’s not? Ask yourself if there is a way that you can get involved and build bridges between the silos in your region. You are stronger together! One of the simplest ways to inspire students as an industry leader is to actually build a relationship with local schools, participate in their events and career fairs and share your story.

2. Share your story

Please stop trying to change students’ perceptions of manufacturing. After meeting thousands of students, and as a millennial myself, I can tell you that when students hear the word “manufacturing” they do not conjure up negative images of child labor in Asia or closed facilities in Detroit. The reality is that most students are not thinking about manufacturing at all, and have no perception, negative or otherwise of what a career in manufacturing looks like. They are far more concerned with the Kardashians, Snapchat, or Pokemon Go. Instead of talking about what manufacturing is not, talk about what it is! Connect with your local school. Share the story of the company you work for, talk about some of the careers and interesting technology your company uses, show students a few of the components you create and explain how it relates to their lives. Take this opportunity to instill some employability and life skills as well, by sharing what you look for when you consider hiring new team members.

3. Create lasting impact

Consider sponsoring your local school with an eduFACTOR membership. Give your local teachers the tools they need to show how STEAM and dreams come alive in advanced manufacturing careers. Introduce technology and highlight career pathways that students can take to launch an extraordinary future in the industry that builds our world.

4. Reach parents

Parents have seen the manufacturing industry go through some tough times. Manufacturing is not the dark, dirty and dangerous industry they are used to picturing. Designed for educators and business leaders to receive metrics to measure impact, eduFACTOR resources are implemented in classrooms, at events, and in homes to open conversations between parents and their children and make significant strides in changing parents’ antiquated perceptions of manufacturing.

5. Open your doors

Host a Manufacturing Day event and invite families and local schools to meet your team and discover what you create behind closed doors.

As we look to the next generation and wonder who will pick up our mantle, who will take what we have accomplished and innovate to push back the limits of what’s possible, we have to assume it will be the people we ourselves inspire. Don’t call for someone else to grab those CPR paddles. Pick up the resources you have and deliver the greatest shot of electricity – right into the heart of your manufacturing community.

Connect with Edge Factor: Larissa Hofman – lhofman@edgefactor.com – (716) 805-3343 ext 406

Donuts are taking Lincoln County by Storm

Lincolnton, North Carolina. January 18, 2017 – Last February, Edge Factor partnered with the Lincoln Economic Development Association on a mission to impact the community of Lincolnton, North Carolina, inspire the next generation at a live student event, and reach parents and families at an evening community event. Ten participating Lincoln County Schools bussed in 1800+ students to attend an Edge Factor Live event that exposed students to the power of CTE (Career and Technical Education) and careers in advanced manufacturing. But LEDA’s question, “How do we get parents to attend an evening event?” led to a creative initiative that took Lincolnton by storm.

To raise awareness of the community event and encourage people to register to attend, Edge Factor and LEDA hosted an online “Fight 4 Donuts” competition between nine middle and high schools from Lincoln County.  Grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, parents, and students flooded the donut competition website to vote for their local school to win donuts for every student! Voters could only vote once, were required to fill in their contact information, and complete a short, online, interactive quiz with questions on local manufacturing facts and opportunities. On the same “Fight 4 Donuts” web page, people learned about the community event and were able to register for free tickets. The final tally was approx. 4000 submitted quizzes and votes to win donuts, 1800+ students at the student event, and 230+ parents at the evening community event. Click here to watch the video!

“Immediately following the events and the winning school receiving donuts, we heard students from the losing schools saying things like, ‘We are totally going to win the donuts next year… I’m going to share it with everyone I know.’ So that was that. They expected the “Fight 4 Donuts” to be an annual competition, and they were ready to roll up their sleeves to win in 2017,” said Kara Brown, Existing Business Manager at LEDA. “Right then we knew we needed to book Edge Factor to host encore events and the second annual donut competition.”

Today, the 2017 “Fight 4 Donuts” competition has officially started! Leading up to the encore student and community events on February 1, voters have 2 weeks to fill out a new quiz and vote for their local school to win donuts. West Lincoln High School won last year – but who will take the top spot in 2017? Check out the website here to vote and learn more about the event: www.edgefactor.com/sparknc.

With cinematic Edge Factor media and a motivational message by Jeremy Bout, Founder of Edge Factor, The Spark Event will inspire families to view manufacturing and CTE in a new light and help empower students to pursue amazing career pathways. Since the first event, students have been able to learn about these careers in their classrooms and homes because of LEDA’s determination to keep the momentum alive in their community. LEDA sponsored 10 schools with memberships to Edge Factor’s Netflix-style educational platform of media and interactive activities that bring STEAM, CTE and advanced manufacturing to life in classrooms. Advancing our regional approach with LEDA, Edge Factor filmed STEAM Tours, career profile videos, and technology “what is” videos with two companies in Lincoln county. “This holistic approach to impacting a community has sparked a movement in Lincoln County, as students begin to picture how they can push back the edge of what’s possible through advanced manufacturing and emerging technology,” said Larissa Hofman, Director of Communications at Edge Factor.

To find out more please contact:

Larissa Hofman
(716) 805-EDGE (3343) ext 406


A Look at 2017: A New Year with New Opportunities

Cleveland, OH. December 19, 2016 – With hundreds of videos, a new reality show and 4 new films coming to eduFACTOR in 2017, Edge Factor is excited about the many partnerships forming in so many communities. From day one, the Edge Factor team has been on a mission: Edge Factor is laser focused on giving teachers unique and powerful tools to inspire students and parents. Creating cinematic stories that make for great teaching moments, we are pushing the envelope with media designed to equip schools to market their programs effectively.

We have built a team that lives and breathes this mission, and when Toni Neary joined our team, it was because she shared that same passion. In her time with Edge Factor we accomplished much and together we deepened relationships within the manufacturing community. Starting in 2017, Toni Neary is stepping into a new position at The Morris Group as the Director of Education. She will be leading educational initiatives for the Haas Tower throughout the Morris Group region, working directly with educators, business leaders, state and federal initiatives to help enhance manufacturing programs to meet current and future workforce needs. This newly created role will involve understanding the various challenges in regions and states and meeting those needs with teacher training, grant and equipment needs.

“Toni has been a wonderful part of the Edge Factor team,” said Jeremy Bout, Producer/Host of Edge Factor. “She brought so much to the table, but we couldn’t ask for a better role for her to take on. We will continue to work very closely together to move the needle forward by strengthening educational manufacturing programs and inspiring the next generation of makers. While she will be missed, we know that this is the right move.”

“As l continue to be a champion for manufacturing pathways, I will continue work closely with Edge Factor, Haas Automation and the Gene Haas Foundation to help educators obtain the equipment, training and funding necessary to properly educate the next generation of engineers, machinists, operators and technicians,” said Toni Neary. “With the power of the Haas brand in the market and the amazing opportunities provided by the Gene Haas Foundation, I am excited to pull all of our connections and partners together to really impact our regions. I look forward to a very close partnership with Edge Factor as I build and strengthen manufacturing programs in schools across the Morris Group territory.”

At Edge Factor we often say “we run with runners”. Our partnerships are collaborative, supportive, rewarding, adaptable and catalysts for growth,” said Larissa Hofman, Edge Factor’s Director of Communications. “The team at Edge Factor believes that with a runner like Toni Neary at Morris Group, we will continue to do extraordinary things together.”

To explore how your team can work with Edge Factor to impact your community, please email info@edgefactor.com.

Edge Factor announces new film, Masters of Resonance

Before running a CNC machine, I thought about buying stuff, not making it.
Before I met the team at DW Drums, I thought a drum was a pail, and a Luthier was a theologian.
Before making this film, I thought a musical instrument was a simple object used to make melodies.
Then I spent time with John Good and Neil Peart and realized… Boy, was I wrong.  

In 2010, I left the grinding shop and my 5 axis CNC machine to pick up a video camera and tell stories of people who are making things and changing lives. I had no experience in the film industry, no connections to the “big dogs” in manufacturing and no idea of where this decision would take me. But I knew I wanted to share stories of makers connecting their minds to their hands to bring new ideas to life. After the release of our first film, a teacher told me how it inspired one of his students to see manufacturing in a new light, and how that student “now knew what he wanted to do with his life” – he was going to become a maker. That day, the heart of Edge Factor was born.

40 shows and several TV series later, something happened last year that sparked a story we never expected: we became part of the DW Drums family. Masters of Resonance is a music film that takes the audience on a journey from the forest to the stadium and tells the story of how a fallen tree rises and lives again, in the music it creates.

I will never forget sitting with Neil Peart and hearing him record voice over for this film, “The entire history of a tree, year by year, can be read in the circular grooves that mark its annual cycle – its growth rings… Like those growth rings, popular music also reflects the ‘weather’ of its times: evokes and embodies the moods and movements that gave it context.” These thoughts have echoed in my mind and marked my awakening: Our lives have all been marked by the Masters of Resonance.

Disclaimer: We’re not experts in the music industry. We don’t know the history of every great drummer who’s ever lived. It is with fear and trepidation that we sharing our journey, as we explore the relationship between trees, drum and guitars makers, world-class musicians and the memories their music creates in our lives. We’re storytellers feeling like we have stepped onto sacred ground in our quest to make learning relevant as we inspire the next generation of makers and artists.

We could not be more excited to announce the Masters of Resonance film, produced by Edge Factor is coming in 2017.

– Jeremy Bout, Producer/ Host of Edge Factor

New Edge Factor film for MFG DAY: American Ingenuity


Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Cleveland, OH – The echoes of the spirit of innovation ring all around us. Since the dawn of time, human beings were set apart from all other creatures by our ability to create, to form, to manipulate the natural resources around us in the quest to survive and innovate.

With a single button, human beings can achieve things that were unfathomable only a few decades ago, and with technology and career opportunities rapidly expanding, the question “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” is becoming almost impossible to answer. The opportunities available for young people to launch incredible careers in manufacturing is now.

In October 2016, Manufacturing Day events across North America will help raise awareness of these careers and awaken the next generation of makers with Edge Factor’s latest film, American Ingenuity. Business leaders, schools and organizations will take their MFG DAY audiences on a journey through time… from the dawn of mankind building hunting tools, through the Industrial Revolution and into the extraordinary world of today’s makers using advancing technology to push back the edge of what’s possible.

The film American Ingenuity provides a glimpse into the past to uncover the future of the manufacturing industry. It celebrates innovation and sparks a desire to create, to take an idea from your head, connect it with your hands and make something that will help shape the future. From coffee houses to auditoriums, classrooms to theaters, American Ingenuity will stir audiences, leaving them with the haunting questions: “What will you do? What action will you take? And how will you help shape the future?”

As the Strategic Content Partner for Manufacturing Day, Edge Factor has produced a turnkey package of event resources for event hosts called the Rock MFG DAY Kit. With this free online kit, MFG DAY hosts can market their event, captivate their audiences, reach parents and measure the impact of their event. Featuring promotional materials, main event presentation tools, interactive resources, hands-on projects and post event tools, the Rock MFG DAY Kit equips leaders to impact their community.

The co-producers of Manufacturing Day and Edge Factor invite you take this film and use it as a tool to host a MFG DAY event that engages your local students, parents and leaders, helps you recruit your next workforce and spark a passion for manufacturing in your region.

For more information on hosting a MFG DAY event, go to www.mfgday.com and to register for the Rock MFG DAY Kit, visit www.edgefactor.com/rock-mfg-day-kit.

Visit Edge Factor at IMTS 2016

Edge Factor is partnering with Modern Machine Shop and Haas Automation at IMTS 2016!

We invite you to visit our area in Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops booth #W-10 to connect with us and see the custom designed Edge Factor drum kit by DW Drums, with never-before-seen clips from our upcoming film Masters of Resonance! Featuring Neil Peart from Rush, John Good, Founder of DW Drums, Bob Taylor the Founder of Taylor Guitars and a long list of other world famous makers and musicians. Sitting beside the drum kit will be an original NASA part, as seen in Edge Factor’s upcoming film Reach Beyond. One teacher breaks the barriers of school walls to provide his students with the manufacturing opportunity of a lifetime. Partnering with NASA, students build and inspect, assemble and quality check a locker for NASA’s very own International Space Station.

In the Student Summit, our eduFACTOR booth in Haas Automation’s NC-612 booth has all the info you need to discover how you can be equipped with story-driven resources to mobilize your manufacturing community.

It’s a show you won’t want to miss! Connect in-person with Jeremy Bout the Producer/Host, Larissa Hofman the Dir. of Communications or Toni Neary the Partnership Architect. Email us for more info at lhofman@edgefactor.com.

Extraordinary things are happening Behind Closed Doors

Extraordinary things are happening behind closed doors in manufacturing facilities across North America. X Games world champions are CNC machining prosthetics for challenged athletes and veterans. Inventors are meeting with Environmentalists to explore unique methods of sustainably harvesting wood to make guitars. Composites Managers are reimagining the lightweight materials they use to build race cars. Chemists are tweaking components in glue to find new ways of manufacturing drum kits.

The Behind Closed Doors film by Edge Factor weaves inspirational stories of women and men using advanced manufacturing technology to push back the edge of what’s possible. As innovative teams of people merge imagination with science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), lives are changed! Based on this film, Edge Factor has created an online, turnkey package of event resources for schools, companies, and organizations to host Manufacturing Day events. The Rock MFG Day Kit contains cinematic media, interactive resources, and hands-on projects to promote and host an event that will change perceptions of manufacturing, inspire students, spark conversations, reach parents and provide feedback on the success of the event.

“I used the Rock MFG DAY Kit at two different events and showed the Behind Closed Doors movie. It was a HUGE hit as people could really see what we are doing,” said Capital High School’s Welding and Machining Instructor, Jim Weber. “The movie was the best thing of all because it really showed such a diverse look at manufacturing.” This Manufacturing Day, use the Behind Closed Doors film and the Rock MFG DAY Kit resources to reveal modern technology and careers, engage and inspire your audience and demonstrate how manufacturing impacts our world.

To register for the FREE Rock MFG Day Kit, visit www.edgefactor.com/rock-mfg-day-kit. For a limited time, you can also watch the Behind Closed Doors film on the Edge Factor Theater: www.edgefactor.com/theater.


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Watch the Making of Indy500 Cars: “Built for Speed” Film by Edge Factor

Watch the latest film on the online Edge Factor Theater for free!

The fact that a driver could walk away from a crash at over 200 miles per hour is not an accident, but an act of excellent engineering.

For the team at Dallara IndyCar Factory, their quest for excellence makes the difference between devastating loss and ultimate victory for renowned Indy race car drivers. In Built for Speed, Edge Factor tells the story of how the team of designers, fabricators and manufacturers, engineers and race car drivers work together to design, build and test Indy race cars. With champion race car driver Matthew Brabham, Jeremy Bout uncovers the only professional, high-performance driving simulator on the market.

Watch and share the Built for Speed film today at www.edgefactor.com/theater