The History of the Phoenix Challenge
In 1998, the Applied Technology Center (ATC) in Rock Hill, South Carolina, became the first Flexo in High School Program (FIHS) site to have both Mark Andy and Comco label presses in their graphics lab. The desire for an international competition by the ATC and other FIHS programs gave birth to the Phoenix Challenge. Working with industry and higher education supporters, the first competition was held in 1998. Each school team was judged by industry specialists, competing in all the critical steps in label making: prepress, platemaking, printing skills and basic theory. Over the past years the competition has been fine-tuned and now has grown to offer not only medals for placement in each area, but also scholarships to the winning team to support their future education in flexography. The Harper Flexo Cup is the ultimate award that travel yearly to the top scoring team.