Durban school pupils to attempt Guinness World Record

2016-02-02 12:30
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Durban – On Friday, 2 100 Durban pupils will attempt to break the official Guinness World Record for the largest practical science lesson, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) said on Tuesday.

The university's spokesperson, Indu Moodley, said in a statement that the attempt would be held at the Durban Exhibition Centre. 

"Apart from laying claim to a genuine world record, and having a lot of fun at the same time, the innovative project aims to develop a love for maths and science amongst school children.

"The learners participating are all in Grade 9, which is the critical period for making matric subject choices and educating pupils on the importance of core maths for STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] careers."

Moodley said the current record for the largest practical science experiment was held by Vijnana Bharati in India - with 2 000 students.

"A target of 2 100 has been set to ensure a comfortable winning margin for the new record attempt."

The university's college of agriculture, engineering and science, together with eThekiwni municipality, would be supporting the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), and MAHLE Behr SA, in the attempt to set the new record.

Guinness stamp of approval

Explaining how the mammoth task would be made a reality, Moodley said 2 100 learners, 60 teachers, 50 stewards and 50 volunteers would all come together at the exhibition centre, where students would complete two different experiments.

"In an innovative attempt to save costs, the two experiments have been constructed using by-product materials kindly donated by MAHLE Behr’s production processes. Each participating school will receive a set of equipment after the attempt.

"To meet the very stringent Guinness World Record criteria and standards, the lesson must take place in a given timescale, together in a predetermined place," said Moodley.  

Chief organiser Jolene van Heerden said: "We have to meet a number of prerequisites in order to get the official stamp of approval from Guinness."

She said video evidence of the entire record attempt needed to be prepared and sent to Guinness. 

Moodley said the actual record attempt would take about an hour.

Read more on:    durban  |  guiness world record  |  education

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