At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, 463 million children worldwide were cut off from classroom-based learning (UNICEF). 90% of countries introduced remote learning, but the burden on children, teachers and parents was very real and not always fun.
At the start of 2021, we undertook our biggest community project yet. We created a free, downloadable activity book for children to explore their creativity and learn what it takes to design a theme park as part of our competition. The activity book included exercises in Maths, English and Art – designed to add excitement to home learning, while giving teachers and parents a helping hand.
The activity book was downloaded over 5,000 times, across multiple countries with hundreds of entries sent in to our competition. We asked children to share designs of the theme park of our dreams – and we were truly inspired.
We decided to create a theme park that was completely designed and inspired by our competition entries. Our finalist Maddi came up with the theme park name ‘Magnificent Manor’. Using her initial design, we started by creating the brand for the new theme park and showcasing what merchandise and packaging would look like inside the park.
To acknowledge the creativity of our 20 competition finalists, we included their ride designs and names in a masterplan of the new theme park too. As with all masterplans, we focussed our attention on creating a memorable entrance and intriguing lands across the park that were waiting to be explored by visitors.
Our competition runner-up was Rory! A huge fan of space and intergalactic adventure, he created a rotating ride called Space Horror. In his own words, Rory described this ride as: “A crane that takes you up to the sky. It has glass robots attached with rope, then it spins around and a projector will project an image of space on the glass.”
To bring his ride design to life even more, our design team set to work on creating the concept and key visual for the ride. We think Rory’s ride idea and theme is incredibly innovative and wouldn’t look out of place in any theme park!
Our competition winner was Ethan. Not only did he create a thrilling rollercoaster ride idea, he made a 3D version of his fast and scary ride, Volcano of Doom. Ethan said, “Inside should look like fire with lights and maybe real fire. Red water to look like lava, red mist and smoke coming out of the top too.”
Here is Ethan’s Volcano of Doom ride.
For the winner of our competition, we decided to turn the Volcano of Doom into a fully 3D designed rollercoaster to bring Ethan’s dream to life. We took his homemade model, description and other drawings and made the ride the focal point of Magnificent Manor.
Take a look at the point-of-view video below to experience what it would be like to ride on Ethan’s Volcano of Doom rollercoaster!
Katapult exists to inspire and be inspired. We’ve been truly inspired by the children that have entered our competition and we thank them all for their effort and imagination. We hope our initiative has and will continue to inspire the next generations – knowing that with just a piece of paper and a pencil, your imagination can take you anywhere.