The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Dashel Prywes Gives Update on Guinness Project


Dashel Prywes, the sixth grader at Tenafly Middle School who is vying for a Guinness world record for the tallest Lego Magna-Tile tower, has made new discoveries about his project two months after his test build on February 16. 

The test build, carried out in the TMS auditorium, was carefully planned. Hundreds of square Magna-Tiles, a support mat, and a scissor lift were prepared. Thirty TMS students and Tenafly High School’s Medical Students of the Future Club were invited, as well as Mark Zinna, the mayor of Tenafly. 

Dashel Prywes shaking hands with Mayor Zinna at the test build

“I think the project is fantastic,” Zinna said. “[Dashel’s] got a wonderful spirit, and we’re here to support everything he’s doing and do whatever we can to enhance his cause.”

The test build was a success, as the tower was built as high as it could be in the auditorium, about 21 feet high. Students and staff present at the event helped build the first few feet themselves with Magna-Tiles adorned with messages of support. When the Magna-Tiles stacked up to be only a few inches from the ceiling, Prywes himself adorned the top of the tower with a magnetic tiger sent by Magna-Tiles itself. 

Through the test build, Prywes learned of the power of resilience and encouragement in the face of potential failure. In the middle of the build, the tower broke and toppled down, removing much of the progress made under pressure. Yet, Prywes was able to continue his work thanks to the student and staff’s encouraging chants of “Tigers don’t quit.”

“[The tower] broke down seven feet, but it stayed up — I don’t know how,” Prywes said. “I felt really confident to have my old teachers and my new teachers, plus all of my friends and some of my future teachers.”

The next day, the test build was broadcast on NBC News after correspondence with Jen Maxfield, an NBC News reporter and a friend of Yaron Prywes, Prywes’s father. “It was very exciting to see myself on the news,” Prywes said. “It made [my project] so much more real.”

Prywes’s 21-foot tall Magna-Tile tower

While they decided to keep the overall design of the tower, Prywes and his team decided that more stability was essential to reach their goal of a 49-foot tower. Seeing the frequent wobbles that happened while building a tower of only half the height of the intended final made them realize that they would need a bigger base.

“[Considering] a big base, we would need about 700 to 800 Magna-Tiles,” Yaron Prywes said. “We need more donations of the six-inch square tiles.”

Prywes and his team also learned the scissor lift made the process of building the tower much easier, so Yaron Prywes has been contacting Herc Rentals to rent a 45-foot scissor lift to use in the final build. 

“Before we did the TMS build, [we] thought that the people at the GOAT Climbing Gym might climb the walls and build [the tower] because they’ve got professional rock climbers there,” he said. “But we learned that the scissor lift works really well, so we’re going to use that.”

Prywes’s ultimate goal still remains to do the final test build by Labor Day. However, in case they are unable to meet the deadline, Prywes and his team have already emailed Guinness World Records for a possible extension. For the time being, Prywes is putting his focus on gathering resources and people needed to meet requirements for setting the record.

“We don’t know whether we’ll do two more events or one more event,” Yaron Prywes said. “But for the official build, we need to hire a surveyor or an architect—someone to officially document evidence that we’ve made it to 49 feet.”

In the meantime, Prywes and his team appreciate further Magna-Tile donations through Prywes’s website

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About the Contributor
Heeseo Yoon
Heeseo Yoon, Junior Editor
Heeseo Yoon ('25), Echo's Junior Editor, enjoys writing about world affairs and creating cartoons.