Berkeley’s Black Pine Circle school aims to set Guinness world record for largest gathering of Einstein lookalikes

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Einstein lookalikes gather at Black Pine Circle school in Berkeley to try to set a world record on March 5, 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman

Update, Nov. 13, 2015: Black Pine Circle did it! Guinness World Records announced on Nov. 12 that Black Pine Circle School set the world record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Albert Einstein.

Original story: Students at Black Pine Circle — as well as parents, and really anyone else who could be roped in — yesterday attempted to set¬†the record for world’s largest gathering of Albert Einstein lookalikes.

The Black Pine community gathered on the school’s athletic field at 2 p.m. sporting jackets and ties, as well as fluffy white¬†wigs and mustaches.

They achieved a record with 319 people dressed to look like Einstein. While it looks promising — to set the record the school needed to field a minimum of 250 participants — the final decision as to whether they make it into the¬†Guinness Book of World Records will be made by¬†judges representing¬†Guinness after they have reviewed all the evidence. That includes statements from stewards and witnesses, video footage, as well as aerial footage from a drone that was hovering overhead.¬†


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Black Pine Circle elementary and middle school students took part in the challenge. Photo: Ted Friedman

The rules are rigorously observed: if an Einstein so much as sneezed, losing his or her mustache, they could be disqualified. A Black Pine staffer, Maureen Ray, who is on the board of directors of the Contra Costa Civic Theater, provided the Einstein get-ups.

The event was orchestrated to celebrate science learning at the independent Berkeley school, as well as to honor the Nobel Prize-winning physicist‚Äôs enduring contributions to science and mathematics learning, said Black Pine’s Director of Communications Lesley Jones.

The goal, Jones said, was to emerge as the first school in the United States to make it into the pages of the Guinness Records Book in this category.

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Participants come out onto the athletic field at Black Pine Circle. Photo: Ted Friedman

Black Pine Circle School, a K-8 independent school, is a proponent of Socratic learning and takes science learning seriously. It recently held its annual Science Week, during which students participated in science learning with local scientists, creators, and technologists from companies like SunPower and Pixar in subjects such as robotics, solar energy, and the role of art in science.

Volunteers monitor proceedings as the school attempts to set a record. Photo: Ted Friedman
Volunteers monitor proceedings as the school attempts to set a record. Photo: Ted Friedman

Both this year and last year’s seventh grade class worked throughout the year in an innovative research project with the U.S. Department of Energy‚Äôs Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory‚Äôs Advanced Light Source (ALS) to create models from high-resolution scans of everyday objects using powerful x-ray technologies, open source visualization software, and 3D printers.

And this week, the school’s¬†four Math Teams will participate in the third round of the All-Star Mathletes Competition 2014-2015 at Oakland High School.

Einstein record at Black Pine Circle. Photo: Ted Friedman
Lots of “Einsteins” celebrate reaching 319 Einsteins by tossing their wigs in the air. Photo: Ted Friedman

Related:
Berkeley 7th graders to present 3D project at White House (06.18.14)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: tracey@citysidejournalism.org.