Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 11:03am

Educational and networking opportunities await packaging science students at Rochester Institute of Technology March 29-31. "The Consumer Connection: How Packaging Communicates" is the theme of the 2012 Student Packaging Jamboree, hosted by the student chapter of the Institute of Packaging Professionals. The event targets how consumers can stay connected to products and packaging with the advancements in media and digital technologies.

Planning for the student-run jamboree began early September after RIT was selected to host the jamboree this year, which rotates between six major packaging schools. The last time RIT hosted the Student Packaging Jamboree was in 2004 and this is RIT's fourth time hosting.

The Student Packaging Jamboree will take place over the course of three days. Speakers include Danielle Nowicki, an RIT alumna, from Heinz; J.P. Zurek from HAVI Global Solutions; Bryan Williams from Lansmont; Tobais Trumpp from Unilever; Rihaz Chughatta from Equity Packaging Inc.; and Carly Speck, another RIT alumna, from L'oreal is the keynote speaker. The event will also include tours, breakfast and dinner, and a design challenge. Company sponsorship has also been established for companies that wish to participate at the Packaging Science Jamboree. Sponsors include Kellogg's, L'Oreal, Lansmont, HAVI Global Solutions and IoPP National.

"It is a lot different than past jamborees. We made it more engaging to keep the attention of students and professionals," explains Andrea Steen, IoPP student chapter treasurer. "We want to keep it fun."

This year, 12 teams of about 12 people each will focus on a design challenge project that involved Pringles and the four phases of packaging-contain, connect, protect and communicate. Teams will play short minute-to-win-it games to obtain the materials needed for building their packaging project.

"The materials are really weird and odd-so teams are going to have to be really creative," Steen elaborates. The winning team members will each receive a Kindle.

Admission to the Jamboree is $5 for students and $30 for professionals and the general public. Events will be located in the Center for Student Innovation and Louise M. Slaughter Hall on the RIT campus. For more information, go to http://pkgjamboree2012.blogspot.com/, IoPP Packaging Jamboree 2012 on Facebook, e-mail pkg.jamboree12@gmail.com, or follow @pkgjamboree12 on Twitter.

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