It is a rare opportunity to see a record broken which has been held for nearly 8 years, as I got to experience on Friday 25 March in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. It was the record for the largest glowstick design, which was last set by 181 students from California State University Monterey Bay, California, USA back on on 4 April 2003. This time around, it was members of the chemistry department at Université Laval who undertook the challenge as part of the annual Expo-Sciences event. As part of this celebration of science, they decided to form the image of the water molecule, H2O.
Participants getting into place
As participants entered the gym where the attempt took place, they were counted and directed to fill in the H, 2, and O which were outlined on the floor. Once everyone was in place, it became clear that the whole image would appear much clearer from our vantage point above if everyone were to move forward, but keeping their places so that the design didn’t fall apart. This seemed a daunting task, but I was incredibly impressed with how well everyone worked (and stepped) together to move the entire design quickly and easily without compromising its integrity.
Ready to go!
Finally, it was time for glowsticks to be distributed and illuminated and the lights extinguished so that we could see the final image in place. Everyone held up their glowsticks horizontally and stayed still for the 30 seconds required by the guidelines, and then danced in celebration of their new achievement! After such a fun and impressive event, I was proud to announce to the crowd that they had successfully broken a Guinness World Record, with 308 enthusiastic participants!
1 April 2011