The senior class at Point Loma High School has certainly put a new spin on their school's old senior prank tradition.
When school faculty arrived at work Wednesday morning, they found an elaborate, 16-foot-tall, human hamster wheel sitting in front of campus.
“I was greeted this morning by our custodian who said the seniors had finally pulled their prank. He had a big smile on his face,” said PLHS principal Barbara Samilson.
Samilson called the safe, non-destructive senior prank “creative” and “ingenious” and said the project was a great way for the seniors to showcase their talent and intelligence.
“It’s an amazing feat. They’re really smart students. They have done well in all the sciences, calculus, physics. This was a good way to show they’re in charge this year,” said Samilson. “They will run the world one day. I’m proud of them.”
The giant human hamster wheel was the brainchild of senior Corlin Palmer, who wanted to pull a fun, non-destructive senior prank that would get the school talking.
Palmer told NBC 7 San Diego he thought of the prank one day while watching his pet rabbit running on a hamster wheel. Palmer said his senior class enthusiastically supported his idea.
Palmer said more than 50 seniors in his class got on board and donated $15 a piece to fund the construction of the wheel.
“Together we raised the $900 required to build the wheel,” said Palmer. “I thought I was going to get in trouble but the support from authority figures has been overwhelmingly positive.”
“It’s non-destructive, it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s going to make money for the school once I sell it,” he added.
Palmer said the plan is to use the wheel for their school’s homecoming float and then maybe sell it on eBay to raise money for PLHS.
He hopes to raise the giant wheel’s profile by breaking a Guinness World Record.
Palmer said he and his classmates looked up the world record for the biggest human hamster wheel and decided to make their wheel one foot larger in hopes of breaking the record.
According to the Green & Gold News out of the University of Alaska Anchorage, a UAA student built a 15.5-foot-tall human hamster wheel in 2008. The contraption was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008, according to the publication.
Palmer said the wheel at PHLS is 16 feet tall and is made of galvanized conduit pipes. He said the biggest challenge was sanding and welding the contraption together.
But the effort was well worth it.
Palmer said the main goal of their senior prank was to “have fun” and so far, so good.
He said the seniors had a great time taking the wheel for a celebratory spin during lunch Wednesday.