ANN ARBOR, MI: It took Vaughn Westerman 46 hours to create an adhesive tape tuxedo inspired by the technology that kept everyone connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her creation has earned her a finalist spot in the “Stuck at Prom,” scholarship contest, which challenges high school students to create dance suits made entirely of Duck Brand tape for a $ 10,000 chance.
Westerman, a recent graduate of pioneering high school, would say he’s better at math and logic, but when it comes to an occasional creative project, he said he can do it. He used a sewing pattern to create the adhesive tape tuxedo.
“My mom has always encouraged me to do great things on any project or anything, you know, I don’t like to do the bare minimum,” Vaughn said.
Amber Westerman, Vaughn’s mother, encouraged him to take part in the competition. It was nice to see Vaughn get into the project after a tough school year of pandemic, he said.
“The only harm that can come from it is that you have a dress made of duct tape,” Amber said. “You always have to try, you know. And they’ve been together for a long time for the last 18 months or whatever, I was just really excited to see it go deep and have some creativity and bonds in what their future studies will be like. “
Vaughn’s tuxedo features a pixelated image of a husky, a reference to his direction at Michigan University of Technology in the fall.
Vaughn said he’s not sure what he’s going to do, but he plans to choose something in computer science. He wanted to include tech elements and his future school mascot in the tuxedo because if he won, he would use the scholarship for tuition.
The promotion was canceled at Pioneer High this year, which inspired the tuxedo accessory – a virtual reality headset.
“We finished the lawsuit and we still had a day before we filed,” Vaughn said. “We were thinking, then, that we could do something else to have fun. I’ve used virtual reality before and I have some virtual reality headphones, so we thought it would be a fun thing to add, so it’s like a virtual graduation dance. “
The competition has dress and tuxedo categories. Vaughn and four other people compete in the tuxedo category.
The judges decided the finalists, but public votes determine who wins the scholarship.
Related: Pinckney teens take 3rd place in Duck Tape national prom dress competition
Vaughn said he wants to wish good luck to the other finalists. He wants to encourage everyone to take a look at the finalists, not to vote for him, but to appreciate the rest of the projects.
“If you have time, check it out,” Vaughn said. “And you just have to vote for what you think is the most artistic and skillful.”
According to the contest website, the winners will be announced on July 21st.
To vote in the competition, click here.
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