Destination Imagination team qualifies for state

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A team of Glacier Creek sixth-graders, Charlie Committed the Crime, took first place in their team challenge at the Destination Imagination regional tournament in Beloit on Feb. 24 and qualified for the state tournament at UW-Stevens Point on March 24.

The team is comprised of sixth-graders Clay Kreimeier, Corbin Slinde, Eric Ma, Gia Shah and Jack Dalton. Derren Slinde is team manager. The team was also awarded the Renaissance Award, which is given to teams who demonstrate outstanding design, engineering, execution, and performance.

The team chose the Scientific 'Unlikely Attraction' Challenge, which is one of six open-ended challenges that require students to apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), in addition to improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork and community service. The requirements of this year's challenge are to research and explore scientific concepts used in the operation of amusement park attractions, design and build an attraction that operates live during their presentation, create and present a story that features an attraction operating in an unlikely location, and visibly and audibly represent the unlikely location. Two 'team choice elements' are required as well that showcase the team's interests, strengths, and talents.

Their story is about a dwarf's journey of self-discovery and the importance of being true to yourself.  The dwarf worked in a carnival where he was bullied by Zoltar, a fortune teller. To Zoltar's surprise, the dwarf was actually a leprechaun named Lucky. Lucky became so angry that he put a curse on Zoltar, transforming him into a machine and sending him to a far away land.  Lucky left the carnival using a magic rainbow to teleport to a new land, where he came upon a village. The villagers welcomed him but he soon discovered that people were mysteriously disappearing near the village wishing well. At the bottom of the wishing well was none other than Zoltar the fortune teller. 

Zoltar was not telling fortunes, however.  Instead, he was luring villagers down the well where he collected their souls and trapped them onto inter-dimensional soul cards.  Lucky courageously rescued the villagers. The wishing well collapsed onto Zoltar, trapping him at the bottom of the well forever. To accomplish the "trapping of souls onto soul cards"effect, the Zoltar fortune teller attraction uses three main scientific concepts: lever/leverage, kinetic energy, and computer science. When the operator of Zoltar places a coin into the fortune teller, Zoltar turns his head, speaks, waves his hand over a crystal ball and proceeds to create a "water vortex" that rises up from the bottom of the wishing well causing a simple yet dramatic disappearing effect. Team choice elements were the wishing well and storybook.   

Another team, the DI ACES, also took first place at regionals and qualified for state. The team is comprised of MHS ninth-graders Arber Jonuzi, Calvin Slinde, Poojha Prabaharasundar, and Sohail Shaik. Derren Slinde is team manager.

The team chose the Service Learning 'Inside Impact' Challenge. The requirements of this year's challenge are to choose a community need, then plan and carry out a project that addresses that need. Teams are to create a live presentation using artistic and theatrical techniques to portray the project plan. 

They must also design and create a cache storage device, which will contain everything the team will use for the presentation. The cache storage device must visibly transform during the presentation showing the progression of the project from plan through implementation.  Teams must also create infographics depicting the qualitative and/or quantitative data collected by the team about the community need. Team choice elements were 1) a unique interpretative clarinet version of Songbird and 2) pun exchange/soccer skill demo.       

The final competitive element at tournaments is the 'Instant Challenge'. Team members are presented a challenge, oftentimes with materials, that they must solve in a short period of time (usually 5 minutes). Teams are required to engage in quick, creative and critical thinking. Appraisers assess the team's performance on the team challenge (including the 'team choice elements') and instant challenge to determine awards and placement at Global Finals.

Destination Imagination (DI) is a non-profit organization that helps more than 200,000 students each year from around the world discover their creativity and develop lifelong critical thinking and collaborative problem solving skills. The United States and 30 countries, including China, Korea, Singapore, Japan and India, are using the program to support existing curriculum by teaching participants skills that give them a competitive edge in the future workforce and in life.

Through its challenge-based learning program, students from the kindergarten to university level develop time management, collaboration, conflict resolution, as well as creative and critical thinking skills. Student teams solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Participants in turn build lifelong confidence in working together to solve any challenge.

For more information, please visit the Destination Imagination website.