Breaking a World Record at The Zeitz MOCAA – Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

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South Africa – Cape Town, 11 May 2019. There couldn’t be a better time to go above and beyond to create change. Change isn’t only occurring in the realm of politics, environmental development, and technology. Change can and does take place across the board, on every level, across industries and interests of the masses. 

Aarnout Brombacher assisting the Stellenbosch students

Change is driven not only by world leaders the world over but by influential adults and children alike. The breaking of a world record challenges us and pushes our limits to the max creating internal and external change. It provides participants with a purpose and stirs up a feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves or our individual achievements.  

Grade 4, 5, and 6 students from schools participating in the Standard Bank/Shikaya NumberSense Programme together with students from Stellenbosch University achieved such a feat. In just 6 hours, they built what is believed to be the world’s largest Level 3 Menger Sponge in the fastest time. The record attempt formed part of the 2019 NumberSense User Group Conference held on 10 May 2019. 

The world record attempt was hosted at Cape Town’s incredible Zeitz MOCAA – Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which is housed in the revamped silos of the Waterfront. It is the perfect location for such a massive feat. With a classical duo providing music for the moment, the level 3 Menger Sponge was completed with time to spare as a crowd of excited delegates sang their support and invited onlookers cheered. They witnessed the event looking down from the balcony in the foyer of the Zeitz MOCAA

The completed cube

A total of 18,048 tabbed cardboard squares were glued to join, held together by 36,096 rubber bands, and standing at 1.8m x 1.8m x 1.8m. The Menger Sponge specifications will now be submitted to the Guinness Book of 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.

About Aarnout Brombacher, who orchestrated the entire project via his Numbersense Mathematics Programme

Aarnout Brombacher is a mathematics teacher. His more than 30-year career includes secondary classroom teaching and over a decade and a half of work in teacher training; curriculum and materials development; and, research with focus on early grade mathematics teaching and learning.

As founder and head of Brombacher and Associates, Aarnout leads the activities of the organisation which includes delivering classroom based teacher training activities, the development of a comprehensive mathematics programme – the NumberSense Mathematics Programme – providing support to the growing community of Number Sense Mathematics Programme users, and the design and implementation of large scale oral and digitally administered assessments.

His in-country mathematics work experience includes Jordan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia and, of course, South Africa.

To find out more about Numbersense and how your school can bring this amazing Mathematics Education Programme in, be sure to make contact direct.

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