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By Sam Lenhart —

One of University of Wisconsin–Stout’s very own has seized the fifth annual Amazing Packaging Race and come out on top. A sophomore in the Packaging major, Hannah Newman, came in first place with team members Amed Kanan from Hennepin Tech, Aaron Ertel from Rochester Institute of Technology and Jenna Hines and George Klingbail each from Michigan State.

The Amazing Packaging Race, sponsored by ASCO Numatics, is an event in which teams of students from across the country compete against each other by completing packaging tasks at booths held by the exhibitors. This year’s event took place on Nov. 5 at the McCormick Place in Chicago.

Newman’s crew beat 27 other teams with a fusion of strategy and skill while completing tasks and reaching the most exhibits.

There were over 150 students participating in this year’s race, beating the previous record of attendance. The event is a full-fledged race that holds its participants in an all out race to the finish line.

“We would dash around completing activities at various stands in the McCormick Place,” said Newman. “And with over 2,500 companies, counting the Pharma Expo which was happening at the same time, spread across 1.2 million square feet, there was a lot of running involved.”

There is no way to really prepare for the race either. Participants are thrown into the contest clueless as to what they will actually be doing.

“Some companies had signs [in the days leading up to the event] saying they were participating, but there was no way of knowing what each company would have you do as an activity,” said Newman. “The only thing I brought was a map of the Expo and a writing utensil.”

Newman’s victory, along with her team’s, has not only landed her the right to brag about her exceptional skills within the packaging industry but also a brand new iPad Air.

The competition is a great way for students to get hands-on experience and a perception of what to expect when submerged into the packaging industry.

“This was my first year participating and I would highly recommend any Engineering program students try and participate if they get the chance,” said Newman.

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