Rogers Elementary School third-grader Ray Trees stacks cups during a cup-stacking event Thursday at the school.
Photo by Joe Tierney.
COLLEGE PLACE — In the world of speed stacking, steady hands, careful moves, concentration and patience work together to stack and unstack a dozen specialized cups in specified formations. But the real mastery comes to those with the quickest moves.
Rogers Adventist Academy students worked at perfecting those skills at their school Thursday. They were joined by what was expected to be 450,000 people across the world to mark the seventh-annual World Stacking Association Stack Up! day.
The stacking day coincided with the Guinness World Records Day, and was the stacking association’s goal at setting a world record for most people participating in stacking in one day.
Rogers students also took part in a food drive for a local food bank as part of the day’s activities. A stack of canned goods was located in the main entrance of the school.
Throughout the morning Thursday at Rogers, the school’s gym was filled with students taking part in stacking exercises with special Speed Stacks cups during their physical education classes.
Speed stacking challenges children to stack up, then stack down lightweight cups in a series of patterns. Children race against the clock, trying to perform each challenge as quickly as possible, without knocking over stacks.
A future record holder may have been in training at Rogers, where many students took the stacking challenges seriously and tried to beat their best times.
Working from an area on the gym floor, Madison Irving, 7, slowly stacked three cups, then six, then three, before collapsing them all neatly together.
“Ta-da!” she said when she finished.
Asher Mahurin, 10, was up for the toughest stacking challenge, a “cycle” that requires stacking the cups in three different formations before collapsing them all into their original starting formation, and all while working against a clock.
Mahurin was shooting for a stacking time of 25 seconds to complete the cycle, which would have placed him between beginner and advanced. When it was his time to do the cycle, he finished his stacks smoothly, without knocking any over, in 30 seconds. On his second try, he had knocked down his time to 28 seconds. The world record for the cycle event is just under 6 seconds.
The day also allowed some free time to simply build. One large group of students rushed for the area where older cups could be stacked in any way.
“It’s not over ’til it’s over!” one boy said, adding another cup. The students built a massive structure, adding cups until it climbed close to 5 feet tall, before seeing it crash down.
Mike Kearbey, physical education teacher at Rogers, said Speed Stacks is a popular activity with students, and one that offers the benefit of working on hand-eye coordination, among other skills.
“They enjoy it,” Kearbey said. “It’s something they can all do without much instruction of it. But the mastery of it takes more work.”