Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homeworks: Be stuck on what you're wearing to the prom and win $5,000

High school seniors tracking down scholarship funds will be happy to hear that Duck Tape has increased its scholarship prizes for the Duck Tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest.

I am not surprised by the increase in cash awards. The buzz generated every year by the teens entering the contest has probably been great for business. What does surprise me is that this will be the 11th year for the contest.

Ray Banna and Yancy Esquivel of Arizona model the formalwear
they fashioned out of duct tape for the Duck Tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest.
Most conventional scholarship applications require students to submit a basic letter of recommendation, transcript, personal statement and overview of activities. Albeit necessary to narrow down the list, these requirements leave little, if any, room for creativity, making it difficult for kids to break from the pack. The Duck Tape Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest is the

opposite. Its focus is not academics, but artistic resourcefulness.

Participants from the United States and Canada are asked to create and accessorize prom outfits that are original, stunning and made out of Duck Tape.

Yes, the sticky, silver, water-resistant tape is used around the house for odd jobs. It is a versatile product. Even NASA astronauts, race car drivers and entertainers are known to have used it for quick fixes in space, on the track or on the stage, but as a fabric for fashion? Sounds outrageous and impossible, but creative minds have a way of making things happen. 

If you can't imagine what sort of prom dress or suit can be fashioned out of Duck Tape, visit Stuck at Prom and see the top 10 finalists from last year's competition.

Then you can understand why this is an annual contest.

Teens interested in entering can do so starting March 7. Couples are required to submit at least one photo of them wearing their Duck Tape formalwear and complete all required registration information. The judges will choose 10 finalist couples based on workmanship, originality (although I would think anything with tape is original), use of colors (Duck Tape is available in more than 20 colors and patterns including tie-dye), accessories and use of tape.

Once the finalists have been narrowed down, it's up to the public (friends, family and teachers) to decide first-, second- and third-place winners during a period of online voting (June 17-July 11). Winners will be announced July 13.

For their outstanding efforts, the couple with the highest number of online votes will each win $5,000. The school that hosts the prom of the winning couple also will receive $5,000. The second best couple (earning the second highest number of online votes) each will receive $3,000 and $3,000 for the high school that hosted their prom night. Third prize winners (earning the third highest number of online votes) each will receive a $2,000 scholarship and $2,000 for the high school that hosted the prom. The remaining seven couples in the judge-selected "Top 10" will each receive a $500 scholarship for themselves and their school. 

That's not all.

In addition to the top 10 winners, six additional participants will receive honorable mentions and a Duck Tape prize pack for best purse, corsage, shoes, tie, jewelry and prop. Yes, when they say design your prom dress and suit, they mean top to bottom.

Contest registration closes June 13.

For official rules, entries and inspiration, visit Stuck at Prom

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