Hannah is the youngest of 3 girls and has been building with K'NEX since a very early age. In late 2006, she needed to build a model of Skylab for a school science project and decided that K'NEX would be the perfect material for building the project. As luck would have it, just after presenting her project in class, a fellow student noticed an advertisement for the 2007 K'NEXpert search and her teacher and friends all encouraged her to enter the contest. Hannah was selected as a 2007 K'NEXpert and as part of the prize was invited to visit the K'NEX headquarters. Following her visit with the K'NEX design team, her enthusiasm and interest in K'NEX increased significantly.
In 2009, Hannah turned 13 and her Bat Mitzvah was held in May. Months in advance, in parallel to preparing for the religious part of her Bat Mitzvah, Hannah decided that the theme for her Bat Mitzvah party would be K'NEX. She decided that having a giant K'NEX build of a woman waving would be a great way to greet guests as they arrived for the party. This thought led to Hannah building "Maggie, the 8 Foot Waving Giant." Once built, Hannah saw that the deadline was approaching for the 2009 K'NEXpert search and decided to enter Maggie and was thrilled to become a K'NEXpert for a second time.
There are many people that would open a large K'NEX set and be overwhelmed by the directions. But Hannah always viewed the K'NEX sets as a challenge, as a puzzle to be solved, and always dove in with great enthusiasm. But what sets Hannah apart as a K'NEX builder is the way she can look at a pile of 10,000 random pieces of colored plastic rods and connectors and excitedly say - "let's build a 12 foot arch."
Starting in early January of 2009, Hannah, along with her Dad and older sister Sarah started to get serious in building K'NEX decorations for her May Bat Mitzvah celebration.
Overall, the decorations took more than 130,000 pieces and included both K'NEX designed models and many uniquely built designs.
As guests arrived for the party, they were directed to the front door by a pair of 9 foot arrows complete with spinning lights.
As they got closer to the house, the front door was flanked by an 8 foot "totem pole" spelling Hannah's name in large 3D letters on one side and a 6 foot double Ferris wheel on the other.
As guests entered the house, they were greeted by "Maggie, the 8 Foot Waving Giant" along with several large models and a welcome sign constructed from Kid K'NEX.
The place cards for each guest were designed to look like K'NEX Business cards with each person's name built out of K'NEX letters. The place card holder was also built out of K'NEX and also served as a holder for a "Bat Mitzvah Instruction Manual". The instruction manual provided a schedule for the party and included a series of mini K'NEX dioramas for all the planned activities.
The centerpieces for each table included a large K'NEX model sitting on a platform above 3 or 4 K'NEX "flower pots."
Each flower pot included 2 K'NEX flowers. And each guest's place setting included a personalized K'NEX key chain.
The party continued downstairs with dancing, fun, and games. Guests entered the downstairs through a large K'NEX gateway and were presented with a 12 foot wide K'NEX "balloon" arch.
Directions to various party activities were built into Sesame Street Kid K'NEX models. There was even a "Guess The Number of K'NEX Pieces" contest. (the 2 jars contained 1662 pieces and the winner got the Monkey.)
Additional decorations included a roller coaster hors d'oeuvres table, a K'NEX portrait of Hannah, several K'NEX signs, and numerous other giant K'NEX models.
As the party got underway and it was time to dance the Hora, Hannah was lifted up in a chair built out of K'NEX.
For the candle lighting ceremony, Hannah was able to drive the cake onto the dance floor via a remote controlled K'NEX table.
So that guests could play with K'NEX, a table was set up for guests to build a group model. This table attracted kids of all ages.
Overall, Hannah and her friends had a great time at her Bat Mitzvah service and at her Bat Mitzvah party. Her friends were truly amazed by the projects that Hannah and her family were able to build out of K'NEX for her party.
Turning 13 and having a Bat Mitzvah was a major milestone in Hannah's life. In the months leading up to Hannah's Bat Mitzvah, the many K'NEX projects created a set of family activities that made preparing for her Bat Mitzvah celebration a truly special time. K'NEX has certainly had a positive impact on Hannah.