The annual worldwide event began in 2006 with 81,252 cup stackers and has grown each year. Its goal is to break the Guinness World Record for most people stacking cups in multiple locations in one day. Each individual must participate in stacking for 30 minutes to be counted in the total. It is the second year of participation for WBE and WSE's first year to join in the effort.
According to the WSSA's Web site, www.wws.com, more than 2,600 schools and organizations in about 30 countries registered for this year's event. WBE logged 322 participants this year, while Winfield Scott had 416 stackers.
Stackers this year were working to beat last year's record of 412,259 people and did so at about noon CST. Numerous countries' results are still not in, which would put participants closer to their ultimate goal of 450,000.
WBE physical education teacher Jackie Hall said the event offers a number of benefits to the students in addition to being part of something bigger than themselves. Hall incorporates balance, strength and agility exercises into her stacking activities.
The WSSA Web site calls sport stacking a "track meet for your hands at warp speed" and said stackers race against the clock, compete in relays and often combine sport stacking with fitness challenges as part of physical education classes.
"These kids are working their brains and their bodies, and having a great time doing it," Hall said.
At WBE, Hall rolled a large die for each activity. The number on the die corresponded to a specific stacking activity. Speed stacking involves good hand-eye coordination, and at the completion of each activity, students either do a push up, balance exercise or some other form of calisthenics.
At WSE, physical education teacher Chris Sather chose to let the students go free-form with their stacking, with "Creative Cups," offering youngsters a chance to use their imaginations.
"Everybody has to cup stack for 30 minutes and we've broken it up to fitness stations, too, and the kids are having a great time" Sather said.
First-grader Regen Wells was one of those who enjoyed the break from the 3R's on Thursday at Winfield Scott.
"I'm building and creating my own stack, making up my own mind and pretending to make stuff, stuff we haven't ever had before," Wells said.