On Thursday April 26th the first of Tomy’s Making K’Nexions challenges took place at Drayton Manor Theme Park in Straffordshire, where 30 of the best K’Nex experts from 12 local primary schools came together to design and build a new ride for the theme park in less than two hours using K’Nex construction kits.
The winners were Sam Press and Jude Boag-Matthews (both aged 11), from Woodstock Primary School in Oxford, who were crowned the Midlands Making K’Nexions Champions of 2012 by Tomy and the charity Young Engineers.
They were each presented with a K’Nex Amusement Park kit and a K’Nex Hot Shot! Video Coaster for their school.
The pair came up with their ride - the Shaking Shack - using K’Nex construction kits, which was complete with moving mechanisms and a swinging pendulum. The challenge aimed to inspire young people to develop an interest in engineering and recognise its importance as a future career.
The judging team was made up of engineers and educators, including Nigel Moore from Interactive Education and both Ruth Williams and Hayley Woodward from Tomy. They assessed the children in the areas of presentation, communication and teamwork as well as function and design.
K’Nex rods and connectors let children build models of practically anything, from working Ferris wheels to monster trucks and motorised dinosaurs. The construction kits enable children to develop their imaginations and motor skills as well as creating something fun that they can be proud of.
It has been estimated that an extra two million engineers will be needed in the UK by the time today’s primary school children reach working age, this is something the Making K’Nexions Regional Challenges aim to address. The next event is to be held on May 22nd in Glasgow.
Ruth Williams, marketing manager at K’Nex, commented: “We are delighted to take the Making K’Nexions Challenge to pupils up and down the country. It was amazing watching the pupils taking part in the Challenge, their vision and inventiveness was very impressive.
“K’Nex is the perfect construction toy to use in our Challenge as the sets have all the components needed for youngsters to make outstanding models which really stretch their imagination."