Ann Arbor teen a finalist in duct tape scholarship competition

Tuxedo is made from an estimated 2,430 feet of tape

A Metro Detroit teenager is a finalist in a national design competition where the only limitation is their imagination -- and maybe a dull pair of scissors.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A Metro Detroit teenager is a finalist in a national design competition where the only limitation is their imagination -- and maybe a dull pair of scissors.

For the past year, Vaughn Westerman was stuck at home in front of a screen for school. He was stuck wondering what he could do after his senior year and began looking for scholarships that could help put him through college.

Related: Ann Arbor teen’s duct tape tuxedo gets national attention

“There are a lot of them where it was like you just write a write a paper on something,” he recalled.

None of those stuck out until his mom came across something more unique.

“It felt like it would at least be more fun than maybe just writing about something,” Westerman said. “It seemed like a a cool idea.”

The 18-year-old Pioneer High School graduate has a chance to win $10,000 to put toward school as one of 10 finalists from around the country in the Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest. The contest has people using Duck Brand Duck Tape to make a dress or tuxedo. Westerman has some stiff competition -- from more conventional looks to more outlandish, each created only using tape.

“When we first started, we were thinking like ‘What should we base it off of?’ and so I thought like this whole past senior year for me it’s been online,” Westerman said.

His chose Virtual Prom as his theme. His tuxedo resembles a computer motherboard, complete with tape CPUs, RAM slots and on the back is Blizzard T. Husky -- the mascot of Michigan Technical University, where Westerman will be going in the fall to study computer science.

It’s hard to undersell just how much tape is used. The average roll of duct tape is about 45 yards or 135 feet long and Westerman used 18 rolls -- nearly half a mile of tape. If you unstuck the tuxedo and laid it end to end, it would be taller than three Renaissance Centers stacked on top of each other.

The largest drawback to tailoring with tape often used to patch leaks is that it’s hot.

“It’s like wearing plastic wrap all around you,” Westerman said. “No ventilation.”

Voting on the contest ends July 21. You can vote here.


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.