Many GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS holders are famous for their physical abilities. The tallest man or the fastest marathon by a female, for example.
But on May 10, a group of 325 participants banded together to prove that world records can just as easily be achieved with the mind.
That group worked as one to set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for the fastest human formation of Pascal's triangle (first 25 rows) at the 2013 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® National Competition in Washington, D.C. Needing to finish in under 10 minutes, they completed a blistering time of 6 minutes, 16.57 seconds
"Mathletes come to the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition to compete against each other for the top title," said Allison Jeannotte, Director Strategic Initiatives with Raytheon Company. "Our GWR attempt was the first time in the competition's 30-year history that the Mathletes completed something together. Setting records is in their blood and this allowed all of them to be winners that day. Each student walked away a GWR certificate--they were thrilled."
Pascal's triangle is a mathematical phenomenon in which each number in the triangle equals the sum of the two numbers immediately above it, an example of which can be seen here.
The record-breaking group consisted of 244 middle-school students, 61 math coaches, and 20 advisors. They were each assigned a random, unknown number and - upon a starting signal - had to reveal their numbers and get in position using nothing more than verbal communication.
Check out this video of the frenetic, record-breaking event.
Afterward, MATHCOUNTS executive director Lou DiGioia (seen as the last person to enter the triangle in the video) said, "This one event brought everyone together. You had 325 people working together for one goal, and it was awesome."
The competition and record attempt brought together participants from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., U.S. territories, and schools from the Departments of Defense and State.
After days of competing against each other for national championships, the record attempt gave all involved a chance to finally compete on the same side.
"I think that it is really cool," said Joy Smith, an 8th-grade competitor from Wyoming, "that even though we're from cities that no one has ever heard of, we get to come to D.C., which is awesome, and we get to set a record that we never thought about doing before."