Warwick HS student wins product naming contest

Warwick. The contest was part of a presentation on lithium-ion battery packaging technology.

| 29 Jan 2024 | 01:32

Students at Warwick Valley High School recently learned about the prevalence of lithium-ion battery fires during a presentation by Rodger Mort, chief operating officer of Packaging and Crating Technologies (PACT), which manufactures various packaging products, including those for lithium-ion batteries. As part of the Connecticut-based company’s presentation, students were also invited to participate in a contest to come up with a creative name for PACT’s new fire-suppressant product line.

“After describing our company’s new TR Sleeve battery envelope to my son, he mentioned it to his economics teacher, Mr. Torgersen, who invited us to speak to the class,” explained Michael Jackson, partner at PACT. “As an entrepreneur himself, Mr. Torgersen asked if we would host a competition for the students to engage in the process of an actual product creation.”

Mort explained how the PACT Thermo Shield prevents “thermal runaway,” whereby the lithium-ion cell enters an uncontrollable, self-heating state caused by extremely high temperatures, shaking, or puncturing. The lightweight, paper material contains what the company describes as a “moisture vapor application” that lines the envelope to contain this type of fire.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety, lithium-ion batteries caused 25,000 fires over a five-year period (data from January 1, 2012, to July 24, 2017). PACT’s product focuses on lithium batteries that are used to power e-bikes, scooters and hand-held electronics.

“The students were completely engaged throughout the entire presentation and asked great questions, like are their laptop batteries safe when they are banged around in their backpacks, how we came up with the idea of the product line and basic battery safety,” said Mort.

On Thursday, January 25, the company announced the winner of the contest: 17-year-old Jocelyne Sanchez. Her winning entry for the new product line was “On the Go Green Security,” winning her a check for $100. Sanchez was presented with the check by Jackson, along with economics teacher Doug Torgersen and her father Rafael Sanchez at Warwick Valley High School.

“I was very amazed when Mr. Mort began discussing how many fires have been prevented with the products that his company makes here in America,” said Sanchez. “I’m honored to be a part of PACT’s newest invention and the future vision of this company that really wants to make a difference in saving lives.”

According to the company, PACT plans to market the new product to airports and airlines as consumers are mandated to put away their cell phones during certain times of the flight for safety reasons.