MAHLE-CASME World Record Attempt - Friday 5 February 2016
Durban - An attempt to break a Guinness World science record which had to be called off last year, is now back on. And if the original attempt in Durban had succeeded, the victory would have been short-lived, because an even more impressive record was set in India within weeks.
The record is for the largest practical science lesson ever done and Durban’s bid aims to make science fun and exciting, while putting South African science education on the global map.
Last October, 1 600 Durban school children were planning to beat the record of 1 383 participating students set by the Royal Chemistry Society in Northern Ireland the previous February. But the local lesson had to be postponed because of student protests in the country. Then, in December, the Vijnana Bharati School in Delhi, India, smashed the record by having 2 000 pupils take part in their lesson.
Now, the local organisers are determined to beat that record and get into the famous Guinness Book of World Records and plan to have 2 100 pupils in their lesson when it is held at the Durban Exhibition Centre on February 5. About 60 teachers, 50 stewards and 50 volunteers will also be involved in ensuring Durban makes history.
The event is being organised by a Pinetown mechanical engineering company, MAHLE Behr South Africa, together with the non-governmental organisation, The Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (Casme). MAHLE Behr SA has collaborated with Casme on several projects over the past three years to develop education in areas of maths and science at schools in rural and under-resourced areas. They hope the record attempt “will inspire, educate and spark the interest of science leaders of tomorrow”, said Jolene van Heerden, MAHLE Behr SA’s communication manager.
The pupils who will help to break the world record are at a critical stage in their schooling and will soon have to make subject choices that will in many ways determine their future opportunities, said Henre Benson, the operations manager for Casme. The one-hour science lesson will involve two different experiments.
The details of the experiments are being kept under wraps.They will be constructed using by-product materials donated by MAHLE Behr’s production processes. Each participating school will receive a set of science laboratory equipment after the attempt. The sponsors in the World Record Attempt are: the Ethekwini Municipality,, Speccom, Wave Paper, Hulamin, and the Zenex Foundation. Teachers from participating schools and staff and students from the University of KwaZulu–Natal College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science will assist learners with the lesson.
For further enquiries contact: Julie Laurenz on 0827832351 or Terence Pillay on 0824113006.