Walter Hudson. Hank Chien. Jackie Chan. These great names all have one thing in common: they have earned their place in the Guinness Book of World Records (for largest waistline, highest Donkey Kong score, and most stunts by a living actor respectively). Now, a group of students closer to home are poised to join this group of luminaries … if they can get enough community members to take part.Elmira District Secondary School’s Robotics 4917 club is looking for at least 500 people to help set a world record for the biggest human number. On March 29, anyone looking to take part in history will gather in the big gym at EDSS, stand within the chalk lines, and collectively form the number “4917.”
“What we’re hoping for is people from the community to all show up in black, dark blue, dark green, or any dark-coloured shirts and help us make this number,” said Gwyneth Findlay, one of the team’s business managers.
The record attempt was the brainchild of the club’s staff advisors, who discovered that the Guinness Book had a category for achievements in robotics. Provided the club could find a record that hadn’t been claimed yet, a spot in the venerable reference book could be theirs.
“It was an idea to figure out something that [Guinness] didn’t have there yet so we could set that record, and make our mark as a rookie team,” said Findlay. “I think it’s a great way of saying, ‘This is our team number, this is who we are.’”
A month of preparation was needed to make it through the 17-page Guinness rulebook. “To make the record a thing, we have to have at least 500 people, and anything over that is setting the record above the basic standard for it,” said Findlay.
“Everybody who comes has to wear a dark-coloured shirt, because everything has to look the same.”
And what happens if the day comes and slightly fewer than 500 people make it to the gym? Will the club retry? Findlay laughed, “Well, I won’t be here next year, so …”
The record attempt will take place on Saturday, March 29 at 10 a.m. in the EDSS gym. More information on the club and its record attempt can be found at www.4917.ca. No advance registration is necessary, and the event is open to the public.