Pemberton students go for Guinness record

High school participates in nationwide science experiment

Pemberton Secondary School students hope to find out in the coming weeks if they contributed to a new Guinness World Record on Friday (Oct. 12).

The school's gymnasium was turned into a science lab Friday as more than 200 students participated in a nationwide event aimed at setting a new record for the largest practical science experiment.

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More than 130 institutions across Canada took part simultaneously in the exercise, which saw students complete two science experiments focusing on air pressure. Pemberton was one of 22 B.C. schools taking part in the initiative, spearheaded by the federal government to kick off National Science and Technology Week.

"It was lots of fun and a little chaotic, but we expected that," Pemberton Secondary science teacher Karen Tomlinson said with a smile. "I think they've been really pumped up about doing it.

"It's a Guinness world record and the kids love that kind of stuff."

The two experiments introduced students to Bernoulli's Principle, which explains how the increase in speed of a fluid impacts dynamic and static pressure. As one example of real-world application, the concept is vital to explaining the mechanics of flight.

The first experiment saw students blowing in the space between two suspended balloons, which caused the balloons to pull towards each other due to pressure change. In the other test, students held one straw inside a glass of water while blowing through a second straw, perpendicularly over the top of the first straw. Water would then mist out through the airflow because of the resulting change in pressure.

The school's Leadership students helped organize Pemberton's participation in the event, garnering donations from local businesses to acquire all of the necessary supplies to conduct the experiments.

Leadership member and Grade 11 student Bailey Raimondo joked that she was half-expecting more exciting experiments, like the kind where "something might blow up," but said it was neat to bring the school together to help vie for a world record.

"It's pretty exciting to get everyone out here to experiment," she said.

The experiments were conducted under strict Guinness requirements to be considered for a world record. The event was videotaped, photographed and timed, and also required statements from independent witnesses and other procedures to ensure validity.

The recordings at all participating schools will be collected and compiled by organizers this week for submission to Guinness.

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