Jacobs Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary with a family event in Zurich West – and sets a new world record

  • The Jacobs Foundation invites children, teenagers and parents to join in celebrating its 25th anniversary
  • Guinness World Records recognizes the world’s longest chocolate sculpture
  • Zurich’s Puls5 complex is transformed for a day into an enormous playground
  • A hands-on look at the Jacobs Foundation’s projects to benefit children and young people

A new world record was set at Zurich’s Puls5 complex on Sunday, September 28, 2014. An audience of more than 3,000 people watched as a 25 meter-long chocolate sculpture took shape. This was the highlight of the family event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Jacobs Foundation.

On Sunday, September 28, 2014, the beaming faces of children lit up the Puls5 complex, located in trendy Zurich West. The youngsters were the focal point of the Jacobs Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration. At the invitation of the foundation, more than 3,000 children, teenagers and parents enjoyed a wide variety of attractions. Excitement mounted as moderator Kiki Maeder, known as “Zurich’s Pippi Longstocking,” announced that a new record for the world’s longest chocolate sculpture was about to be set.

Pointing out that every last crumb was needed, Kiki asked guests to refrain from sampling the chocolate – obviously a challenge for some of those in attendance. Finally, at 2 p.m., it was official: After careful examination, World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel confirmed a new Guinness World Record. The Jacobs Foundation and its partner, the CARMA chocolate company, had completed the longest chocolate sculpture ever made, measuring 25.24 meters in length. Every guest, young and old, was invited to take home a piece of the record-setting chocolate – rather than a slice of birthday cake.

Thanks to performances by the children’s cult bands “Tischbombe” and “Schtärneföifi,” a puppet show and Cinella the clown, everyone was in the best of moods. The audience was enthralled by the artistry of beatboxer Camera, who also sang “Happy Birthday” to the Jacobs Foundation.

Stations for experimenting, playing and trying new things

The foundation introduced its projects designed to strengthen children and young people in an enormous open area filled with games and activities. Visitors were invited to explore the work of the foundation at four stations.

Station 1 focused on early childhood education. With the help of short films and other materials, it illustrated what the Jacobs Foundation is doing to promote education in and outside of the school context. Among other things, the foundation is funding the “Learning Opportunities for Children Under the Age of Four” project of the Department of Education in the Canton of Zurich. Children could build a marble run to practice their communication skills and spatial thinking, and a bouncy castle was available for practicing motor skills.

Station 2 was set up in the form of a classroom and a playground, exemplifying the efforts of the Jacobs Foundation to promote equal opportunity in education. Craft and art projects were available for schoolchildren to work on, and there were also skill-based and board games for them to play.

Station 3 showed the foundation’s work in the area of vocational education. Young people could take advantage of career counseling, and the youngest guests were invited to participate in an entertaining “guess my occupation” game.

Station 4, which was devoted to research, showed projects from Jacobs University Bremen. Dr. Matthias Ullrich, professor of microbiology, helped future scientists conduct experiments with rhododendron extracts. Youngsters with an interest in technology were fascinated by “Wally,” a computer-guided underwater robot that is able to detect the presence of methane in the depths of the ocean.

In the middle of the hall, a chocolate parcourse was set up to illustrate the path from a cocoa bean to a bar of chocolate. At various play and learning stations, children could win gold cocoa beans entitling them to VIP treatment when pieces of the record-breaking chocolate sculpture were distributed.

Sandro Giuliani, CEO of the Jacobs Foundation, was thrilled with the event’s success: “We achieved our goal, which was to show our guests the many ways in which the Jacobs Foundation helps children and young people. Seeing the delight on the faces of the children was the most wonderful birthday present the foundation could have received.”