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Waterford Union High School Claims Top Prize in the PACK Challenge at PACK EXPO International

Future Industry Leaders from Six High Schools Showed their Skills at the Inaugural Competition.

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The team from Waterford Union High School claimed the top prize of $6,000 for Overall Best in Show, in the first-ever PACK Challenge, sponsored by PepsiCo, held at PACK EXPO International (Oct. 23-26, 2022; McCormick Place, Chicago). This same team also placed in several categories: Filler Performance Gold Cup, Engineering Method/Most Innovative Filler Design, and Marketing/Sales Competition. Awards were presented on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the PACK Challenge Booth in the West Lobby.

This first-of-its-kind, end-to-end packaging competition, produced by show organizer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, brought together six high school teams for a machine building challenge. Each team was provided kits containing all components necessary to build a marble filling machine in a mock production line. Following the competition, the machines will be shipped back to the schools to use as a learning tool.

β€œThe PACK Challenge showcases the talent, creativity, and collaboration of these high school students,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. β€œFrom the real-world solutions these students designed to the sales and marketing presentations, this competition was a true test of engineering, manufacturing, and project management skills. The skill, ingenuity, and enthusiasm displayed by these future leaders proves the outlook for our industry is strong.”

The teams began to design and build their machines earlier this summer, and then crated and shipped their innovations to PACK EXPO International. At the show, they were judged in a variety of areas including design, operator training, changeover, and sales/marketing.

Before the judging began, all competitors came together at the Friends & Family event, sponsored by Belden Incorporated on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Congratulations to all the winners:

Overall Best in Show β€“ Team with highest combined point total from all areas.

  • 1st Place ($6,000) – Waterford Union High School
  • 2nd Place ($3,000) – Glenbrook South High School
  • 3rd Place ($1,000) – Rich Township High School

Filler Performance Gold Cup β€“ Best performance in the filling challenge.

  • 1st Place ($3,000) - Waterford Union High School
  • 2nd Place ($2,000) - Rich Township High School
  • 3rd Place ($1,000) - Crete Monee High School

Engineering Method/Most Innovative Filler Design β€“ Awarded to the team for the best overall attention to operator-influenced design intent, safety, and changeover ease of use.

  • 1st Place ($1,000) - Waterford Union High School
  • 2nd Place ($750) - Glenbrook South High School
  • 3rd Place ($250) - Elk Grove High School

Marketing/Sales Competition β€“ Best performance in the marketing challenge.

  • 1st Place ($1,000) - Elk Grove High School
  • 2nd Place ($750) - Waterford Union High School
  • 3rd Place ($250) - Glenbrook High School

The PMMI Foundation works to grow awareness of careers in packaging and processing and provides financial support for packaging and processing education throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since its inception in 1998, the PMMI Foundation has given more than $2.6 million to strengthen the workforce within the industry. For more information on student opportunities, contact Kate Fiorianti at [email protected]

PACK EXPO International also offers additional activities aimed at getting students excited about careers in packaging and processing and connecting them with professional mentors in the industry. In addition to exciting networking events and student programs, PACK EXPO International is the best place to see never-before-seen solutions from 2,000+ leading suppliers on the show floor, bringing more than 40 vertical industries together to generate a cross-pollination of ideas and crossover solutions.

PACK EXPO International ran from Sunday, Oct. 23 through Wednesday, Oct. 26. Show information is available online atβ€― Exhibitor press kits can be found online.

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