Eisenhower Junior High School  ·   Home of R. Clayton Brough

World's Longest Paper Clip Chain
"Mega Chain"

     On March 26-27, 2004, sixty 9th Grade students at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville, Utah, constructed the World's Longest Paper Clip Chain. Named "Mega Chain," the continuous paper clip chain measured an incredible 22.17 miles long and used 1,560,377 paper clips. The Mega Chain was 1.73 miles longer than the previous Guinness World Records paper clip chain of 20.44 miles set in 2001.
     This new world record was accomplished by sixty ninth-grade students at Eisenhower Junior High over a period of twenty-four hours. In accordance with Guinness World Records requirements, sixty "chain gang" students worked nearly non-stop to construct the 22.17 mile chain, which was wrapped hundreds of times around twelve tall posts positioned in Eisenhower's gymnasium. These 60 "chain gang" students were supported by dozens of "special operation" students who work in eight three-hour shifts to encourage the speed of the "chain gang" students and ensure the comfort of people coming to see the event.
     Eisenhower students employed a number of problem-solving skills to successfully make the World's Longest Paper Clip Chain. In fact, during one of their brainstorming and experimental sessions, they discovered a "secret way" to significantly increase the speed of "personally putting paper clips together". Their "secret"? "Pillows"! And according to Eisenhower's school principal, Dr. Nancy Jadallah, "Attempting world records are more than fun. They also teach important educational skills to students, including creativity, organization, cooperation, communications and logistics."  
     The idea of the Mega Chain came up in a 9th Grade Gifted and Talented Geography Class and eventually turned into a large 9th Grade Class project. The world record attempt-and its success--provided many students with the opportunity to apply some of their education skills-including those related to creativity, communication, organization, logistics, mathematics and economics.
     Many parents and companies contributed to the event. ACCO Brands provided Eisenhower students with 2,000,000 paper clips-that had a retail value of $7,800--and Pepsi Incorporated, Gunderson Architectural Woodwork, Little Ceasar's Pizza, Papa John's Pizza, Pizza Hut, Printech and Nu Packaging also made significant donations towards the event.
     Faculty, Staff and Parent Advisors for the Mega Chain were: Nancy Jadallah, Dona Harris, Alan Parrish (Administrators); Clayton Brough, Tom Sharpe and Denise Fiack (Faculty Supervisors); Tom Allen, Kelly Huntington, Chris Moore, Larry Wilde and Malamene Wong (Faculty Support Committee); Don Anderson and Fred Helbling (Staff Support Committee); Don Mix, Cindy and Mark Moore, Jamie and Kevin Negle, Gary Nebeker, Brenda Schultz and Kellene Thompason (Parent Support Committee).     
     Following the successful completion of the world record event, Mayor Janice Auger of Taylorsville City, Utah, presented an official commendation and proclamation to the 9th Grade Class of Eisenhower Junior High School for its efforts and success in constructing the world's longest paper clip chain.
     The continuous structure and length of the Mega Chain was independently confirmed by three professionals: Gerd S. Dixon, City Engineer for Taylorsville, Utah; Timothy A. Fiack, Engineer and Maintenance Manager for Hexcel, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Walter M. Cunningham, a Professional Land Surveyor and Cartographer, Taylorsville, Utah.   
     Note: Guinness World Records requirements for the Longest PaperClip Chain by a Team are:: "1) The maximum length of each paper clip allowed is 4 cm / 1.6 in.; 2) The team can be no larger than 60 persons; 3) The time limit is 24 hours. This is to be a consecutive 24 hour period - not, for example, 8 hours one day, 8 the next and a further 8 on a third day; 4) 24 hours means a complete 24-hour cycle including rest breaks. For example, if the event starts at 12 noon on Monday, it must finish at 12 noon on Tuesday. Participants can take as many breaks as they wish; 5) The length of the chain should be measured end to end along the line of the chain, which should be laid as straight as possible for the measuring; 6) The chain must be one single chain, with each paper clip hooked into ones either end; 7) the name of the persons or organization making the attempt should be given, along with the date and place."