Full STEAM Ahead in this Wacky Literacy Week Event

All Aboard… READ! was the theme of this year’s literacy week and Castlewood’s PTA and administration took a “full STEAM ahead” approach to this wacky fundraising experiment below.

With two stools, duct tape, and our very brave, fun-filled principal and assistant principal, Castlewood set out on a school wide STEAM event, where yes, students attempted to tape our administration to the wall.

Some questions students had to consider were:

  • How might their height affect mass and weight?
  • Would the distance above the ground impact the amount of tape needed?
  • How many rolls of tape would be needed, based on our predictions?
  • Is one brand of tape more sticky than another?
  • What would these supplies cost?
  • What should each strip cost, in order to be able to raise funds for the school, less cost of goods?
  • In what ways/patterns need the tape be applied to create the most secure structure?
  • Which type of wall surface would be best for maximum adhesion?
  • What safety issues need be addressed?
  • What colors should be used that compliment each other?
  • Could this finished product be considered art? If so, what genre and why?

Due to the nature of the activity (what kid wouldn’t want to tape their principal and assistant principal to the wall?!) students were very motivated to address these questions. In honor of literacy week, students were also able to read a book in order to earn a strip of tape.

Starting at 11:50AM, Dr. Haidary and Mrs. Sci took their places in the gym, each on their own foot stool, against the wall in the gym (the smooth wide tiles with minimal concrete grout – deemed best surface for adhesion). As students came, strips were added horizontally, diagonally, and then vertically along the edges to secure the horizontal and vertical strips from peeling off due to force of gravity on their bodies’ weight.

Using 100 rolls in strips of 3-5′ (depending on what body part and direction it was being placed), our very own administration team was bound and  seemed successfully suspended to the wall.

Onlookers couldn’t help but notice the beauty we created. The colors and lines, the size, the simplicity of the medium, the various interpretations possible. We created a very unusual piece of modern art and thought perhaps The Dia or MoMA may be interested in displaying it!

Around 1:00PM, as students began to chant, “Remove the stools! Remove the stools!”, we knew it was time for the ultimate test: Will they remain suspended to the wall once the stools supporting their feet are removed?

…Drum roll please…

YES! A successful STEAM event indeed!

Both Dr. Haidary and Mrs. Sci remained stuck to the wall, suspended over one foot above the floor in the air!! After a few minutes, gravity took over and both began to lower, and while we would have liked to time how long they would have lasted, how long could we really have kept them there as a RFA school?!

HUGE THANKS to Dr. Haidary and Mrs. Sci for being such great sports, our PTA for launching this idea, our Parent Teacher Coordinator for organizing the event and making many tape purchases, and our dream STEAM team for supporting students in exploring questions, possibilities and answers.

This event was a tremendous success and sparked learning, inquiry, reading, and a great amount of laughter at Castlewood!