K’NEX® Brands Announce Winners of the “Great Thrill Ride Build-Off”

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Three contest winners to have their builds displayed at Cedar Fair parks for 2013

2013 K'NEX Great Thrill Ride Build Off Fan Favorite

2013 K'NEX Great Thrill Ride Build Off Fan Favorite

“K’NEX is thrilled to have been a part of a contest that both inspires creativity and encourages STEM learning,” said K’NEX President and CEO Michael Araten. “K’NEX builders never cease to amaze us with their creations."

K’NEX Brands, the only US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love ®, is proud to announce the winners of the third annual K’NEX Great Thrill Ride Build-Off! Students from across the country created working models of the most hair-raising, spine-tingling rides they could imagine, and, while all were impressive, three projects stood out among the rest.

The winning entries of the K’NEX Great Thrill Ride Build-Off are Riverview Community High School in Riverview, MI; Leadership Charter School in West Chester, PA; and a Home-schooled student group from Eden Prairie, MN. Open to all classrooms and student groups in grades 6-12, the contest challenged students to build an original, functional amusement park ride solely from K’NEX parts, and explain the scientific principles that affect its operation.

Winners of this years’ Great Thrill Ride Build-Off competition have the opportunity to have their K’NEX model displayed at one of three participating Cedar Fair parks! Participating parks include: Cedar Point amusement park/resort in Sandusky, Ohio, home to parent company Cedar Fair’s corporate headquarters; Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa.; and Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee, MN.

The displays will be featured among many educational activities during May, when all three parks are transformed into virtual classrooms for school groups, and throughout the 2013 season.

“K’NEX is thrilled to have been a part of a contest that both inspires creativity and encourages STEM learning,” said K’NEX President and CEO Michael Araten. “K’NEX builders never cease to amaze us with their creations. Understanding math & science concepts is not only an important part of the 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!”

A select group of K’NEX designers and ride engineers at each of the three parks chose the winners based on creativity, uniqueness, structural stability and the accuracy of detail provided in the students’ essay. Winning classrooms received tickets to one of the three participating parks & a K’NEX building set for each child. Each winning classroom or school group also received a store credit for additional K’NEX materials.

An online vote was conducted to choose the “fan favorite” of the three winners. “Rimpac” was the lucky coaster chosen by K’NEX fans. Built by a Homeschooled group from Eden Prairie, MN these students will receive an additional prize package that includes a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the participating amusement parks by a park engineer, additional K’NEX educational sets and the opportunity to tour the K’NEX headquarters in Hatfield, PA.

To view photos and videos of the winning entries please log on to: http://www.knex.com/News_and_Events/Thrill-Ride-Build-Off-2013-Vote.php

About 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 and is America’s STEM building solution. Winner of over 250 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX, America’s building toy company, is focused on Building Worlds Kids Love and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.” From the living room to the classroom, K’NEX has building toys specially designed for every age group and skill level. The K’NEX family of brands includes K’NEX Building Sets, K’NEX Thrill Rides, K’NEX Education, Lincoln Logs®, Tinkertoy®, NASCAR®, Angry Birds™, Mario Kart Wii™, Mario Kart 7™, Super Mario™, PacMan™ and more. Since 1992, The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of K'NEX Brands, L.P., has manufactured over 31 billion parts for the K'NEX building toy system. Join us as we help build the leaders of tomorrow. For more information, please visit http://www.knex.com or http://www.rodongroup.com.

About Cedar Point, Dorney Park and Valleyfair Amusement Park:
Cedar Point will open for its 144th season on May 11, 2013, with its new wing roller coaster, GateKeeper. The park will host a variety of educational activities along the Main Midway May 13-17 for this year’s Math & Science Week. For more information, log on to http://www.cedarpoint.com. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and check out our YouTube channel.

Dorney Park, located in Allentown, Pa., opens May 3 with its thrilling collection of rides and roller coasters, including its most recent addition, Stinger. To learn more about this suspended boomerang inverted coaster, visit dorneypark.com.

Valleyfair Amusement Park in Shakopee, Minn., opens May 11 with the all-new Dinosaurs Alive!, an interactive prehistoric park filled with more than 30 life-sized creatures. May 11 – June 14 is Education Days which feature programs, including Physics Day, exclusively for grades K-12. For more information, visit valleyfair.com.


Kate Loffio, K’NEX Brands: kloffio(at)knex(dot)com             

Annie Zelm, Cedar Point: azelm(at)cedarpoint(dot)com

Todd Larkin, Valleyfair Amusement Park: tlarkin(at)valleyfair(dot)com

Carrie Basta, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom: cbasta(at)dorneypark(dot)com

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