Destination ImagiNation teams set for state

DELAVAN, WI—Four Destination Imagination teams from Delavan-Darien schools participated in the South Central Regional Destination ImagiNation Competition Saturday, March 22, at Badger High School in Lake Geneva.  They were among 35 teams that participated from the South Central Region.

Being presented a challenge in life can oftentimes be a difficult process. However, being given a challenge to complete within a certain amount of time can be even more difficult. 

Luckily for the Delavan-Darien School District their Destination Imagination (DI) program teaches kids, Grades K-12, how to handle both kinds of situations.  At the beginning of the year a team of two to seven kids can gather together in their grade level to start on the journey of creative problem solving. They can choose between a mechanical challenge, a science challenge, a theatrical challenge, an improv challenge, and a structural challenge. It is then up to them to figure out how to solve it within a six-month time frame; the holdup is that they have to follow all the parameters set up for them in the challenge and be able to portray their solution to a panel of appraisers who will then subjectively decide if their solution will continue on to the state competition. 

Of the four competitive teams from Delavan-Darien, there were one first place from Phoenix Middle School and three second places from Turtle Creek Elementary.  All four teams will proceed to the Destination ImagiNation State Tournament at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on April 12.  

Michelle Gardner, the DI coordinator for the district, said she was thrilled with the students’ accomplishments.  

“With thirteen years of coaching DI behind me, this first year as the District Coordinator has felt like a success,” Gardner said. “To have four out of four teams make it on to State is a dream come true, but I envision a future where DI has cultivated numerous teams in all grade levels.  It will be then that I strive to see each individual team make it onto the state tournament, with the goal of DI Globals not far behind.”

At the state tournament, teams finishing first or second in their divisions qualify for Destination ImagiNation Global Finals, scheduled for May 21-24, in Knoxville, Tenn.  That event features teams from 45 states, seven Canadian provinces and 13 other countries.

Each of the teams advancing to State will continue to work on their challenges, refine their props and sets, and practice teamwork over the next three weeks.

As a coach and parent, Renee Yartey, sees the tremendous value of the DI program for the school district.  

“DI provides the forum for our children to think outside of the box,” Yartey said. “They realize that they are able to problem solve using their talents and skills and it is wonderful to be a part of that experience.”  

The full breakdown of team members, challenges and coaches follows:

Go with the Flo: Science Challenge:  Going to Extremes, Elementary, second place.

Challenge: Students researched and depicted an extreme environment as well as designed extreme gear for that environment.  Their story showed how the characters adapted to these extreme conditions.

Team Managers: Michelle and Ray Gardner; Jessica Hack.

Team and gradeIsaias Cardona, 3; Faith Rothkapf, 5; Juan Ruiz Jr., 5; Kyra Wolworth, 3; Gracie Yartey, 3; Kylene Yartey, 1.

The Seven Amigos: Fine Arts:  Laugh ART Loud, Elementary, second place.

Challenge:  Students flex their acting and artistic muscles as they explored international works of art.  Teams created comic strips and an ARTifact that was inspired by the work of art and used them in their skit.

Team Managers: Michelle Turner and Elizabeth Calhoun.

Team and grade: Drew Calhoun, 1; Isabel Calhoun, 3; Camden Dufer, 5; Ashton Flores, 3; Nathally Hernandez, 4; Miguel Rodriguez, 5; Marissa Torres-Raby, 4.

The K-otix: Improvisational Challenge:  Pande-Monium!, Elementary, second place.

Challenge: This is all about spontaneity and storytelling.  Teams received topics (a historical character, a pandemonium, stage make up style and a contemporary character) and produced a skit dealing with the pandemonium right on the spot. 

Team Managers: Renee and Kofi Yartey.

Team and grade: Gwen Acheson, 5; Hailey Flores, 5; Juliana Huerta, 5; Francheska Sandoval, 5; Sofia Seitz, 4; Anna Sorg, 5; Breanna Yartey, 5.

Phoenix Comets: Improvisational:  Pande-Monium, Middle School, first place.

Challenge: This is all about spontaneity and storytelling.  Teams received topics (a historical character, a pandemonium, stage make up style and a contemporary character) and produced a skit dealing with the pandemonium right on the spot.

Team Manager: David Block.

Team and grade: Litzy Barajas, 7; Briahna Cardenas, 8; Marlee Hartleib, 6; Savannah Perkins, 6; Caleb Reshkus, 7; Meghan Roum, 8; Hailey Stirmel, 8.

Congratulations to all the Destination ImagiNation participants! Good luck at the state competition!

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324 Beloit St. Delavan, WI 53115 www.ddschools.org
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