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FLEXO Magazine : May 2011
FTA TODAY Coming This monTh The Phoenix Challenge Foundation is revamping its Web site and will reveal the new design after Flexo- graphic Technical Association’s 2011 Forum in Indianap- olis. Be sure to check www.phoenixchallenge.org later in May to see the new look! Teamwork Rules High School Students Meet the 2011 Phoenix Challenge Spring break took a number of participating schools out of the 14th Phoenix Challenge High School Skills Com- petition, but there was no dearth of talent and dedica- tion among the teams who traveled to the Harper National Flexographic Center at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC to showcase their knowledge of flexography. Over the course of nearly 3 days, 13 pairs of students demon- strated their abilities through a series of five tests: two written exams—one in math and one in general flexo knowledge— and three hands-on demonstrations designed to ascertain their prepress, platemaking and press skills. Sharon Mai and Chong Wang, students at Gordon Gray- don Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, edged past fellow Gordon Graydon students Li-Anne Chang and Elina Shafigullina to take top honors in the competition and win $1,000 scholarships. This is the fifth straight victory for Gordon Graydon students. According to Bettylyn Krafft, chair of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, the first- and second-place results are a testimo- ny to the students’ specialized education. “Other programs teach different processes, but [Gordon Graydon’s] focuses strictly on flexography,” she says. Yet the competition could in no way be classified as a blow- out: Third-place winners Monica Manalo and Amber Peet, of Bergen County Technical School in Teterboro, NJ, were only 8 points behind Chang and Shafigullina. TeamwoRk woRks The competition is a thorough trial of skill, says Krafft. “Every section has different criteria, but they ’re all designed to test the students’ overall knowledge of flexography, their attention to detail and their ability to follow instructions. ” Yet the only real path to success is through teamwork, she adds. “ That’s what pulls them through the competition. ” Indeed, the students relied on each other in preparing for the Challenge. “ We quizzed each other frequently and talked through procedures, so we knew what we wanted to do,” says Mai. “ We studied off the Phoenix Challenge Web site and re- viewed together, and we practiced running the press together a couple of times a week,” adds Wang. Chang had competed in a previous Phoenix Challenge, and she was able to teach her partner, Shafigullina, the press components. From there they were able to work in tandem to triumph over tough spots. “ We had opposite weak and strong points and encouraged [each other’s] studying,” she says. “T he written exam was the toughest since there was a lot of new information to learn,” Shafigullina adds. As with the Canadian students, Manalo and Peet found the Phoenix Challenge Web site to be a helpful study tool. “ We also practiced on the machine at school and used a study guide,” says Manalo. Yet when they arrived at the Challenge, they saw they ’d be working with upgraded equipment. “ T he toughest aspect was running with updated machines,” says Peet. “ T hey were unfamiliar.” The success of all three pairs proves that teamwork is the foundation of a winning attitude. Congratulations to all! n First-place winners Sharon Mai and Chong Wang of Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. Second-place winners Li-Anne Chang and Elina Shafigullina of Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. Third-place winners Monica Manalo and Amber Peet of Bergen County Technical School in Teterboro, NJ. Photo credit: Zach Blackburn www.flexography.org MAY 2011 FLEXO 125
Sustainable Spring 2011