We came upon this Crowdfunding site put together by a Wellesley High School senior who is trying to break the You Tube record for creating the tallest K’nex ball machine. Cole Smith is an aspiring scientist with a big-time K’nex fascination who is raising money for the materials he needs to build a structure that will beat the current You Tube record of 24 feet (731.52 centimeters). That would likely be no problem for a guy with an unlimited supply of Knex. Unfortunately, Smith isn’t that guy, thus the Crowdfunding efforts. He’s trying to raise $2,000 to cover the cost of materials. As of this writing, he had $565 from 13 donors, in amounts ranging from $5 to $100.
He has a team, though, and he’s got determination, so hopefully Smith will be able to wrap this up by the time he graduates in June. Smith says “the project was started in early February, and both Max Pavlov and Zane Salameh have been helping me extensively. Dan Carter and a couple of other people help when they can.”
If they can’t finish it up by June, Smith says the project will not end, but he will no longer be in charge. Should it go that way, Smith says he wouldn’t mind, but “it would be very cool to have the world record broken by then. I would absolutely love you guys (his potential Crowdfunding donors) if we can get enough to break the record. This truly does mean a lot to me, so from me and the rest of the crew: THANK YOU!!!!!”
I was recently at the high school and saw the K’nex work-in-progress up close and personal, tucked into a former vending machine alcove that had been transformed into something that was part art installation area, part construction site. And there it stood, an obviously unfinished project, materials lying around nearby, no Keep Off sign or caution tape or other such scolding vibes. Just the clear expectation that a person in this school can work on something important and the school community will respect it. “Ah, now it all makes sense!” said one enlightened commenter on the Crowdfunding sight.
I’ve seen this type of thing before at the school. Wellesley High School is the kind of place where important work can be displayed out in the open without the fear that it will be torn apart by disaffected youth, or bored teenagers. Don’t get me wrong, WHS has a strong community of both, they just don’t typically take their rebellion or ennui to a place of institutional destruction. In the meantime, Smith and his team work on the project, the school community wanders by and wonders about it, and the rest of the time the project is left alone to mind itself.
So if you’re inclined to help this young man on his way to K’nex tower domination and You Tube record glory, you can help out by visiting his Crowdfunding page where you will have the opportunity to donate either money or materials.
Also of interest…
Did you know that one of the Swellesley bloggers was at one time a Guinness Book of World Records holder in endurance yo-yoing? Click here to read all about his madness.