LYNN CAMP — Students at Lynn Camp High School may have played their way into the record books Wednesday with a game of rummy using giant cards 7 feet, 4 inches tall by 4 feet wide that they made from fiberboard.
Students in the design and engineering program at Lynn Camp, which is in Knox County near Corbin, designed the cards using computer software and wrote programs to have them machined robotically, then students in the art program painted them.
Arthur Canada, a technology teacher, said the project helped students learn skills with computer-aided design and programmable automation software and also in working as a team.
In art, teacher Earl Gregory used the project to teach painting techniques.
It's not the first time Canada has had students design and create large objects as a learning tool. Students built a chess set last year with pieces 10 feet tall.
"We just try to find things that have a neat factor to them," Canada said.
Students worked for weeks on the card project. Some worked five or six hours a day, sometimes after school, to draw and paint the 52 giant cards, Gregory said.
Several hundred students gathered in the gym to watch the rummy game Wednesday. Students on the floor held the stiff, quarter-inch thick cards upright while two students on opposite ends of a walkway on the second level of the gym called down instructions on drawing and discarding.
Ethan Inman made decisions for the design and engineering team and Justin Mason and Hunter Medlin played for the art students, Gregory said.
The cards were so big it took two students to carry one from the deck in the middle of the gym floor to the competing hands at either end, which faced away from the person playing the other hand.
Canada said he chose rummy because the cards couldn't be used for a fast-paced game. It took about an hour to play the game.
The art team went out first, but the design and engineering team totaled more points — 110 to 90, Gregory said.
"We had a good time with it," Gregory said.
Canada said he had contacted Guinness World Records about having the Lynn Camp High cards certified as the largest deck of playing cards ever created.
Guinness gets 65,000 requests a year to certify records, but there is in fact a category for the largest playing cards, according to its Web site.
The current record holder is a man in Milwaukee who built a set of cards that were 3 feet, 4 inches high by 2 feet, 5 inches wide, according to the Guinness World Records Web site.
The cards created by students at Lynn Camp were more than twice that size.
The project turned out well, but he'll try something different next time, Canada said.
"I'll swear off large card games after this," he said. "We'll attempt something next year. It may not be larger than life."