Tech classes attempt to set world record


This board is displayed in Jonathan Winkjer’s room to show the statistics for the current length of the longest pipe cleaner chain in the world and how much work is left to meet the goal. Cylinders holding the beginning of their pipe cleaner chain stand next to it.

Valen Yeager, Staff Writer

Starr’s Mill has been known for state and regional records, even obtaining the Director’s Cup in sports this year, but it has yet to add world record to its list of accomplishments.

This year, technology department head Jonathan Winkjer, the Technology Club and technology students plan to set a world record for the longest chain of pipe cleaners. “I think it would be really cool to be part of a world record,” freshman William Fry said.

Mid-semester last year, Winkjer and his tech classes said that they wanted to do something “cool and memorable,” and before long, this idea developed into talks of setting a world record.

While it took little time to decide to set a world record, it took the classes longer to decide how to do it. They either had to come up with a whole new category for the world record or break an existing one.

They decided to break an existing record because if they created a new category, the jurisdiction might not be recognized by Guinness World Records.

Winkjer and his students narrowed down the decision by dismissing other records that did not meet the criteria that would work best for the school. When he first researched the pipe cleaner world record online, “[Winkjer] could see beating that record.”

Currently, the world record for the longest chain of pipe cleaners was previously held by the Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association with a length of 10,459 feet. It was made on Feb. 14, 2007, in Oklahoma City.

After deciding on which record to break, he began the paperwork process to get the Guinness World Record Association to verify the record. Winkjer thought breaking the pipe cleaner record would be a good choice because it will cost around $800 for pipe cleaners and be a simple project for his students.

Following the paperwork for the Guinness World Records Association, Winkjer and students began assembling the chain during the second week of school. To make the chain, a pipe cleaner is wrapped around another pipe cleaner and is twisted together. After the small chains start to add up, they are added to each other until it may be added to the cardboard cylinder. There has not been many problems so far with the construction, yet there is still a long road ahead.

The project remains in construction mode, and as the size grows, it gets wrapped around large cylindrical rolls in the tech room. When the project is finished, they plan to wrap it around the track 12 times.

“The unveiling of the chain is going to be a public event, most likely to fall onto a Saturday sometime in September,” Winkjer said.

After the record has been completed and laid out onto the track, a surveyor must be brought to verify the length for Guinness World Records. “I believe that all of this work will be worth it in the end,” freshmen Ellie Camp said.

Two volunteers must also be present as witnesses to the world record. When those provisions have been completed, the record is official. When this record is made official by the Guinness World Records Association, the school will have a world record to add to its list of awards.