“Placing third nationally was not just a personal triumph but a testament to the hard work and innovation put in by our entire team. It's an honor to see our efforts recognized on a national level,” said Gong, who was part of a campus cross-collaboration design project in 2022.
“By crafting a packaging design devoid of plastic, reducing material usage by 50% and ensuring sustainability and recyclability, we addressed the challenge in a way that aligned with today's pressing environmental concerns. The feedback we received emphasized the uniqueness and practicality of our solution,” Gong said.
Moreno agreed. “Paperboard is a thin material, but it has more strength than you would think. After attending the conference in San Diego, I have seen how far paperboard packaging can go, things that I never thought were possible,” Moreno said.
The PPA winning team earned $5,500 and the third-place team $1,650. Earlier this year, Gong and Jackett received national scholarships. UW-Stout also received $6,500 — $5,000 for first and $1,500 for third; the money will be used for program improvements.
California Polytechnic took second place in the PPA contest, which drew close to 90 teams from universities around the U.S. and Canada. The top three were invited to present at the PPA conference in San Diego, where their final standing was revealed.
“The emphasis on creativity, problem-solving and the encouragement to think beyond traditional boundaries prepared us to tackle real-world challenges,” Gong said.
Gong, Moreno and Jackett also received the Stout University Foundation's Jordan R. Tracy Award for their cross-disciplinary collaboration.