For three days in April, students from packaging universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada will connect with industry professionals and alumni to showcase the impact that packaging has on the world.

University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Stout Packaging Association student members will host Packaging Jamboree 2024, or Pack Jam, an annual student-led conference, set for April 7-9.

“Pack Jam gives students the benefits of collaborating in competition; networking with students from different universities, industry professionals and alumni; and learning about current industry trends and career opportunities,” said packaging Program Director Min DeGruson.

Schools that traditionally attend are Clemson University, Dunwoody College of Technology, Hennepin Technical College, Michigan State University, Northwood Technical College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Virginia Tech, Rutgers University and more.

Registration is open through Monday, March 25. SPA provides networking and educational opportunities to prepare students to become packaging professionals. They created this year’s Pack Jam theme – It’s More Than a Package.

“The idea behind our theme was to encompass all of what we’re learning. Packaging might seem like a niche degree, but there are broad opportunities in the field with diverse employers – from usability, sustainability, innovative new designs and materials and more,” said SPA President Greyson Hammer.

Pack Jam events open to the public on April 8 include a Student Packaging Design Competition beginning at 1:30 p.m., in Johnson Fieldhouse, with an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m.; and a Networking Fair, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., in the Memorial Student Center Great Hall. During the competition, teams will be formed of students from diverse schools. They will be challenged to erect, pack and stack boxes on a pallet.

“Along the way, some fun and interesting challenges will allow teams to get different boxes or items – some good, some bad. In the end, they will run their pallet through an obstacle course, testing how stable their pallet really is,” said SPA Vice President Ethan Myers.

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