Gulfport Students Race To Build Tallest Newspaper Tower

Anniston Elementary has "high expectations" of its students. Teams of third, fourth and fifth graders must design and build the tallest tower, using only newspapers and tape.

Fifth grader Bryce Russell says they're not allowed to tape the building to the wall or anything else. The tower has to be freestanding.

The competition is the brainchild of Principal Glen East. East says one of the things the school is working on this year is the concept of kids working as teams to solve problems, just like people do in the business world. This allows kids to have a leader and to work together to solve problems.

Bryce Russell says according to the rules, students cannot fight, they cannot hurt anybody, and they can't scream at each other. Of course, when you have 300 youngsters, all with their own ideas, working together can be tough. East says some kids are getting upset and doing their own thing. But that's all part of the project, figuring out how to work together.

Third grader Julian Wilkey thinks the program is cool. First, his team had to make the base a little stronger, because it started to lean over.  Now, it's looking pretty good. Julian says most likely, his team is going to win.

In the end, it doesn't matter if their sculpture looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Tower of Terror, it's the teamwork that really counts. There was a winner picked from each grade level. The highest tower reached nearly ten-feet tall. The "Quest" gifted program at Anniston, helped organize the competition.