New Menger Sponge world record set

The sponge which broke the world record was assembled at the Zeitz MOCAA.

A Menger Sponge,first described by Austrian mathematician Karl Menger in 1926, is a construction of cubes with an infinite number of cavities.

Mathematics education students from the University of Stellenbosch worked with pupils from Prestwich Street Primary in Green Point, St Agnes Primary in Woodstock, Rosmead Central Primary in Claremont, Kleinberg Primary in Ocean View, Steenberg Primary in Steenberg, Woodville Primary in Mitchell’s Plain, Vlottenburg Primary in Vlottenburg and Pniel Primary in the Cape Winelands to build the world-record-setting Level 3 Menger Sponge.

A total of 18 048 tabbed cardboardsquareswerejoined together by 36 096 rubber bands to build the sponge which measures a whopping 1.9m x 1.9m x 1.9m. (“Pupils help break world Menger sponge record,” CapeTowner, May 16).

Project leader Aarnout Brombacher said that while building the sponge was primarily a fun activity and challenge, the project provided the opportunity to showcase pupils from public schools in Cape Town who were participating in the Shikaya/Standard Bank NumberSense Mathematics Programme.

The previous record was a 1.4m x 1.4m x 1.4m; 70kg; Level 3, made from 66 048 folded business cards over a period of 10 years, built during workshops all over the world and completed in 2005.