Pupils help break world Menger sponge record

Prestwich Primary pupils Tamia Chawatama, 9, Chanelle Sylvester, 10 and Anam Msusa, 11, enjoy building parts of the sponge.

Pupils from eight primary schools, together with Stellenbosch University education students, took part in breaking a world record by building what is believed to be the world’s largest Level 3 Menger sponge – a mathematical construct – in the fastest time.

The sponge was built in six hours at the Zeitz MOCAA museum on Friday May 10 and was put together in the atrium, where crowds of people applauded.

The record attempt formed part of the 2019 NumberSense User Group Conference, held on the same day at the V&A Waterfront.

The conference was a gathering of NumberSense programme users (teachers, parents and others) sharing experiences, networking and learning about product developments.

Pupils from Prestwich Street Primary in Green Point, St Agnes Primary in Woodstock. Rosmead Central Primary in Claremont, Kleinberg Primary in Ocean View, Steenberg Primary in Steenberg, Woodville Primary in Mitchell’s Plain, Vlottenburg Primary in Vlottenburg and Pniel Primary in the Cape Winelands, with the help of the students, put together 18 048 tabbed cardboard squares, held together by glue and 36 096 rubber bands, and standing at 1.8m x 1.8m x 1.8m.

The Menger sponge specifications will be submitted to the Guiness World Records for approval and with a listing to follow.

The official announcement is yet to be made and is expected within the next couple of months.

The current record for the largest Menger sponge is 1.4m x1.4m x 1.4m; 70kg; level 3, made from 66 048 folded business cards over a period of 10 years, built during workshops all over the world and completed in 2005.