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Cedar Point amusement park and K’NEX building toy company partner on student contest

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — K’NEX, America’s Building Toy™ company headquartered in Hatfield, Penn., and Cedar Point amusement park/resort in Sandusky, Ohio, have announced plans to sponsor the second Cedar Point K’NEX Great Thrill Ride Build-Off in 2012. The contest began on Nov. 1 and will run through April 2, 2012.

School groups grades 6 through 12 are challenged to build the most innovative and thrilling amusement park ride model using only K’NEX pieces. A select group of K’NEX designers and Cedar Point ride engineers and officials will choose five winners to exhibit their creations at Cedar Point during Math & Science Week and remain on display throughout the park’s 2012 operating season. Additional prizes include K’NEX building sets, online store credit codes, and Cedar Point tickets.

New in 2012, one of the five winners will be chosen by the public to be the “Fan Favorite.” The five winning models chosen by K’NEX and Cedar Point will be posted at for the K’NEX and Cedar Point fans to vote upon. The “Fan Favorite” will receive a variety of additional prizes including an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Cedar Point and an invitation to visit K’NEX headquarters in Hatfield.

In its inaugural year, the contest generated submissions from across the nation including California and New Jersey. The five winning schools represented three different states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Courtney Washington, the teacher of the winning classroom from Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, N.J., traveled more than 500 miles to see her students’ work on display. Washington even received a letter of recognition from President Barack Obama honoring the work she has done with her class.

“We were thrilled to be selected as one of the winners and the students had an awesome learning experience. They were actively engaged and highly dedicated to their project,” said Washington. “There was an abundance of teachable moments throughout the entire project. They were able to apply engineering, physics, social studies and language arts to mathematics.”

To be eligible, students must consider mathematical and scientific applications such as potential and kinetic energy, speed, acceleration and gravity. The project is intended to encourage students to apply their knowledge of math and science in a fun and innovative way.

“We were extremely impressed by the quality of rides submitted by the school groups last year,” said Rob Decker, corporate vice president of planning and design at Cedar Point. “We look forward to seeing the unique and inspiring projects submitted for this year’s contest.”

To enter, school groups must submit a 500-600 word description as well as a video and photos of the ride. Entries will be evaluated on creativity, uniqueness, detail and accuracy of the ride description. Class or student groups can register by visiting the K’NEX website.

“Last year’s Great Thrill Ride Build-off was extremely successful. Students were able to mesh their creative skills with the principles of math and science,” said K’NEX President and CEO Michael Araten. “We are excited to partner with Cedar Point again to provide a challenging and fun learning experience to students around the country.”

About Cedar Point’s Math and Science Week
During Math & Science Week, special educational programs, demonstrations and activities designed for middle and high school students are presented at the park. 

About K’NEX Brands

Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children. Winner of over 200 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.”

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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