Cedar Point, K’NEX announce winners of the Great Thrill Ride Build-Off

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Winning entries of the Great Thrill Ride Build-Off, sponsored by Cedar Point and K’NEX announced

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We are proud to have been part of a contest that both inspires creativity and encourages learning,“ K'NEX President and CEO Michael Araten said. “K’NEX builders never cease to amaze us with their creations.

Students from across the country created working models of the most hair-raising, spine-tingling rides they could imagine, and, while all were impressive, five projects stood out among the rest. The winning entries of the Great Thrill Ride Build-Off, sponsored by Cedar Point and K’NEX, are from Fairbanks High School in Milford Center, Ohio; a Homeschooled student group from Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Mason High School in Erie, Michigan; Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, New Jersey; and Marshall Middle School in Wexford, Pennsylvania.

“We are proud to have been part of a contest that both inspires creativity and encourages learning,“ K’NEX President and CEO Michael Araten said. “K’NEX builders never cease to amaze us with their creations. Understanding math & science concepts is not only an important part of the K’NEX building experience; it’s an integral part of everyday life, too. We are thrilled that so many educators chose “The Great Thrill Ride Build Off” to teach their students these concepts in such a fun way!”

From November 1, 2011, through April 2, 2012, students in grades 6-12 were challenged to build an original ride made solely from K’NEX parts. They were required to provide a 500-word description on the real-life forces at work if it were a full-scale ride, such as potential and kinetic energy, speed, acceleration, gravity and rotational motion. A panel of judges from K’NEX and Cedar Point selected the winners based on creativity, uniqueness, detail and the accuracy of their description.

Rob Decker, Corporate Vice President of planning and design for Cedar Point, said crafting the models encourages students to apply what they’ve learned in a fun and interactive way, pushing the limits of their creativity.

“We want today’s students to be the innovators, engineers and thrill ride builders of the future, so we need to prepare them for the 21st century careers that will propel them to succeed,” Decker said. “This competition is the perfect way to spark their interest.”

Each winning group will receive 15 tickets to Cedar Point Amusement Park, a $250 credit for purchasing K’NEX building materials and a free K’NEX building set for each member of their class or group.

Now that the winners have been announced, fans can vote for their favorite in an online competition at http://www.knex.com/News_and_Events/Thrill-Ride-Build-Off-2012-Vote.php. The winner, by popular vote, will receive 15 additional Cedar Point tickets, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at Cedar Point, a K’NEX prize pack that includes educational sets for the winner’s school and an invitation to tour the K’NEX headquarters in Hatfield, Pa.

All winning models will be on display during Math & Science Week May 14-18 at Cedar Point and throughout the 2012 season.

Math & Science Week is an opportunity for thousands of students from schools throughout the region to step outside the classroom and watch the concepts they’ve learned come to life with interactive displays at an amusement park rated the best in the world for 14 consecutive years. This year’s Math & Science Week features exhibits from NASA’s Glenn Research Center and Plum Brook Station, Center of Science and Industry of Columbus (COSI), and the Imagination Station in Toledo.

Cedar Point
Cedar Point opens for the summer on Saturday, May 12 and will be open daily through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 and Friday through Sunday through Oct. 28. For more details and additional information about Cedar Point, please visit the new cedarpoint.com, check us out on Facebook or Twitter or call the park’s general information line at 419-627-2350.

K’NEX Brands
Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands, the world’s most innovative construction toy company, 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 is America’s building toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love, and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.” Since 1992, The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of K'NEX Brands, L.P., has manufactured over 30 billion parts for the K'NEX building toy system. For more information, please visit http://www.knex.com or http://www.rodongroup.com.

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Kate Loffio
K'NEX
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