Question and Answer: Winning Model: Mega Wheel Ball Blaster
The mega wheel scoops up balls from a chute at the base of the creation and lifts them to the top. After they reach the top, a "ball catcher" grabs them and guides them to the track switcher where they first spiral down into a black hole. The next ball enters a track with a sideways loop.
When did you start building with K'NEX?
I started building with K'NEX when I was 5 years old.
What was your most challenging K'NEX creation?
My most challenging K'NEX creation was the Mega Wheel Ball Blaster. The hardest part about it was to keep the balls from coming off. I had to keep on adjusting it so that the ball would stay on and not fly off the track.
Where did you come up with the idea for your winning model?
I wanted to find a new way to make a ball go to the top of my K'NEX model. The only way it has been done before was by two sets of gears and chaining acting like pulleys with a claw to scoop balls up. I wanted to do something different and so I built a giant wheel that scoops up balls and takes them to the top of the wheel and drops them onto a track. Then, I made a switcher that lets the ball go on two different tracks. One of them spiraled into a black hole and the other came down and did a sideways loop. Finally, both of the tracks go to a track that leads to the starting position.
Do you have a favorite past K'NEXpert, if so who?
All K'NEXperts build some amazing things, but I will have to say that Nathan from New York in 2006.
How many siblings do you have? What are their age(s) and gender?
I have one younger sister, Melissa, who is 8 years old and I have two older sisters, Lori, age 25 and Sheryl, age 26.
Do they build with K'NEX too? Do you build models together?
Yes, Melissa builds with K'NEX.
What are your favorite hobbies (besides building with K'NEX)?
NERF guns, Archery, Frisbee, Basketball, Soccer, Football, Kick Ball, Chess, and magic tricks.
What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subjects are History and Logic.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
An engineer, inventor, or computer programmer.
What has been the coolest part about being a 2009 K'NEXpert?
Going to Times Square in New York and touring the K'NEX headquarters in Pennsylvania. K'NEX is awesome.