Solana Beach student wins national award

From a pinball machine to a roller-coaster, 12-year-old Max Pidgeon can build just about anything with K’NEX building toys. A seventh-grader at Earl Warren Middle School in Solana Beach, the Carmel Valley youth was recently recognized by the public for his creativity and talent, placing first in his age division during the 2015 K’NEXpert Search, an annual, nationwide building contest for children ages 5-12.

“It feels pretty cool,” said Max. “I would like to thank all the people who voted for me.”

Max’s 6-foot-tall winning ball machine features 13,000 pieces. “Discombobulation,” along with a variety of his other pieces, can be seen on his YouTube channel “Knexmaster88.”

“It turned out really well,” Max said. “I was happy with it.”

Max first learned about K’NEX building toys by watching videos of K’NEX building projects on YouTube. He started building his own pieces at 8 years old.

This is the first time Max entered the contest, and although he placed, he already has his sights on next year.

“Next year I hope to bring something bigger and better,” he said.

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