The Central Piedmont Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology participated in this year’s virtual Phoenix Challenge College Competition. This competition represents a yearlong project that students from colleges all over North America find a solution to a flexographic printing problem. Over the course of the year, our students worked with industry professionals from Harper Corporation, Sun Chemical, Mark Andy, Wink Tooling, DuPont, JR Cole, and Parks Printing. The developed concepts, branding, packaging, and production for their project.
Under normal conditions, the students would have traveled to the FTA Forum conference to give their presentation. This year that format had to be converted to an online presentation using Zoom software. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the students’ progress long before the presentation. They were able to virtually continue the development of their project by using online meeting software. When it came to the production of the project, they found a local printer that set up a Zoom meeting at their press to run their materials. While they were not able to physically be there for the job, they were able to instruct the press person throughout the run.
Due to their efforts, they were awarded third place. The teams that placed above them were California Polytechnical Institute and Wisconsin Stoudt University. Our team represented the only two-year institution in the competition. The scores between the three top teams were very close, with our missing out on second place by only seven points out of 600. We are extremely proud of the diligence the students exhibited by carrying through with this project in such a drastic disruption to the norm.