NORTH CALDWELL, NJ – In what may have appeared to be a prank or hazing ritual, a West Essex High School teacher was duct-taped to a wall March 18, but only in the name of fundraising for science.
The West Essex Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Club wanted to hold a fun and unique fundraiser for a major, multi-year science project they are working on. Their solution: "Wall to Wall," which involved duct-taping WEHS teacher Jamie Wall to a school wall.
“I am very proud of my students for coming up with this idea," said Wall, who works closely with the students. "I was happy to do it.”
The STEM Club offers students an opportunity to create, invent, compete and play in challenges and activities that use science, technology, engineering and math. Last year, the club purchased an Aquaponics system with a grant it was awarded, and which they will be placing around the school.
Aquaponics is a closed system to which circulates between a fish tank and a garden. The water is recycled and cleaned by the system and the fish's waste provides the organic nutrients (specifically nitrates and phosphates) to help the plants grow.
To help raise money for the plants and other materials, the students came up with the Wall to Wall fundraising idea. When asked, Wall said she readily agreed.
Each strip of tape, in colors and patterns such as neon, pink flamingos, macaroni and cheese, tie dye and other colors, was sold by STEM Club members for donations to the project.
The result was a smiling teacher held up by strips of colorful tape in the name of science.
The fundraiser also had a long-term goal: Next year, the club would like to join a program in which these tanks will raise trout eggs. At the end of the school year, the STEM Club will be able to release the adult trout into the wild.