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Research Triangle Charter Art Students Leave Their Mark with Colorful Ceiling Tiles

In classrooms throughout Research Triangle Charter Academy, just look up to see the students’ creativity.

Art Teacher Nicole Brown’s eighth grade students are continuing the tradition of painting ceiling tiles as part of a class project. Each has a unique look – designed and painted by the students.

“They get to do their homeroom teachers’ ceiling tiles and the teachers love it.” Brown said. “They come up with their idea, they get their teacher to approve the design, and then they get to put it up themselves.”

Student painting a ceiling tile
Art students at Research Charter Academy design and paint ceiling tiles for various classrooms.

Each tile takes about three weeks for the students to complete from start to finish.

The project is so popular, Brown has expanded it to include the entire art club with kindergarten through eighth graders taking part.

“The kindergartners help out as needed,” she said. “I'm more focused on them to try not to pour paint everywhere, but there's a wide range of kids. It's a project for my eighth graders, so it's an actual grade.”

For sixth and seventh graders, getting to paint a ceiling tile is a reward. If students follow classroom procedures and keep the room clean, they get to participate.

Art students painting
Art students at Research Charter Academy design and paint ceiling tiles for various classrooms.

Students have created tiles ranging from geometry dash to Miles Morales as Spider-Man. The art club is currently taking requests from other people in the building who would like tiles painted.

“Right now, my three through five group are working on positive affirmations for one of the deans, a Research Triangle themed one, and then an Eiffel Tower for the social studies teacher in seventh grade,” Brown said. “This will be a cool way to add personality to your room and have the kids’ artwork up and shown around the building.”

Great job embracing creativity, Research Triangle!

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About Research Triangle
Research Triangle Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Durham, North Carolina, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes 99 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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