Five District DI teams qualify for state

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Two teams of Glacier Creek students took first place in their respective team challenges at the Destination Imagination regional tournament in Wauankee on March 11 and qualified for next month's state tournament.

The top two teams in each challenge qualify for the state tournament. In all, five District teams qualified for the state tournament at UW-Stevens Point on April 8.

The DI ACES are comprised of seventh-grader Varun Gupta and eighth-graders Arber Jonuzi, Calvin Slinde, Edwin Zhang, Poojha Prabaharasundar, and Sohail Shaik.  Derren Slinde is team manager.  The Charlie Committed the Crime team is comprised of fifth-graders Clay Kreimeier, Corbin Slinde, Eric Ma, Gia Shah and Jack Dalton.  Derren Slinde is also team manager. 

The Those People team from MHS took first place in the secondary Scientific Challenge. The Nerdie Berdie team from Glacier Creek took second place in the middle level Fine Arts Challenge and is comprised of fifth-graders Noah Dorn, Zack Stoecker, Kyle Pape, Laina Gustafson, Reganne Hartman, Lydia Schultz and Jaya Booth. The team is managed by Denise Booth and Greg Dorn. The Mysterious Mustaches team from Kromrey took second place in the middle level Scientific Challenge.

To see all of the results, please visit the DI Blackhawk Regional website.

The DI ACES chose the Scientific 'Top Secret' 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 Scientific Challenge are to research and apply methods from cryptography and steganography to reveal secret messages, create and present a story about a secret mission with a disguised character, and create a gadget that performs a secret or unexpected task.  An additional component of the challenge are the two team choice elements chosen by the team that showcase their interests, strengths, and talents.

The DI ACES' story takes place in ancient China. It is about a boy named Charlie who begins to hear voices after his Mother goes missing. He believes his mother entered into an abstract painting, which is against the law. Charlie and his friend travel into the painting in search of his Mother and discover several surprises along the way. The disguised character is an agent of the Ministry of Secret Service who has had a secret crush on Charlie for a long time. The gadget is a grandfather clock that produces the theatrical effect of opening a portal for safe passage back from going into an abstract art painting.  Two secret messages were encrypted and decrpyted during the performance using separate and unique substitution cipher methods. The team choice elements were costumes and backdrops.

The Charlie Committed the Crime chose the Fine Arts Vanished Challenge. The requirements of this year's challenge are to research the meaning, roles and use of a team-selected color, present a story about how the disappearance of a color changes a world, create a colorful character that causes or is affected by the color’s disappearance, and use technical theater methods to create a vanishing act that makes something disappear. Two team choice elements are required as well that showcase the team's interests, strengths, and talents.

Their story is about a pharaoh's journey to the afterlife. The team chose the color lapis lazuli blue, which is a sacred and powerful color in the ancient Egyptian afterlife ritual. Without the color present in the ritual, spirits become trapped 'in limbo', between Heaven and the Underworld. A High Priest is about to perform the ritual when Anubis, God of the Dead, appears and steals the lapis lazuli blue from the sarcophagus using his magical staff. The Lapis Reaper arrives to guide the pharaoh's spirit to the afterlife, but it is not there ... it is in limbo.  While in limbo the pharaoh meets Anubis and learns why the color was stolen. Bast the Cat Goddess (Anubis's sister) shows up and has Anubis restore the color. The ritual works once again and pharaoh Ancelic is brought to the afterlife by the Lapis Reaper. To accomplish the vanishing act of the pharaoh disappearing from the sarcophagus, the technical theater methods included digital audio, lights, and a simple yet dramatic vanishing mechanism. Team choice elements were props and costumes.    

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.

The Fine Arts challenge this season was called Vanished and required the students to write and perform a story about how the disappearance of a single color changes a world. The story needed to include a colorful character involved with the disappearance of the color and they needed to chose a technical theater method to create a vanishing act on stage.

The Nerdie Birdie's story was about a Dodo Bird that was jealous of the Blue Bird for getting all the dates; including a date with Cardinal. Dodo Bird knows that because of the color of Blue Bird's feathers, he has so many wonderful characteristics that blue represents. Dodo Bird asks Science Nerdie Birdie to concoct a potion to remove blue from Blue Bird's feathers. While Blue Bird and Cardinal are on a date at the Bird Feeder and are being served by their waitress, Penguin, the potion is released and with the use of a technical theater method, blue vanishes from not only from Blue Bird's feathers, but from everything. A news reporter, Snowy Owl, explains that the disappearance of blue has caused many problems in the lives of birds. The narrator, Flamingo, explains that the birds end up learning a life lesson that what is important is who you on the inside rather than the color of your feathers. Upon learning this, Dodo Bird gets too excited to find a date that he attempts to fly away, forgetting that Dodo Birds can't fly and then becomes extinct.

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 U.S. 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.