District students take first at DI regional

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A team comprised of MHS and Glacier Creek students took first place in their team challenges at the Destination Imagination Blackhawk Regional, which took place at Kromrey on Feb. 29.

The team, 'just Do It' is made up of Glacier Creek sixth-grader Naveed Shaik, eighth-graders Corbin Slinde and Eric Ma along with MHS juniors Arber Jonuzi, Calvin Slinde, Sohail Shaik, and Jon Karanezi. Derren Slinde is team manager.  

Two other teams with Kromrey students, The Unstoppable Six and The First Timers also took first plaxe in their respective team challenges at the regional, while a team of Sunset Ridge third-graders took third place in their challenge.

The First Timers consisted of six fifth-graders and captured first place in the scientific challenge. The team described the first encounter of an Axolotl entering Death Valley and the effects that the environment caused on the Axolotl, and the Axolotl’s effects on the cacti. Team members included Barrett Wochos, Xander Whitley, Chloe Koeppe, Stella Schroeder, Madi DeRidder, and Brooke Von Bergen.

The Unstoppable Six consisted of six seventh-graders and captured first place in the improvisational challenge. Team members included Rose Hulsey, Ellen Kwon, Rebekah Stine, Norah Kwon, Brianna Ter Horst, and Taranjit Seerha.

The Five Funny Bunnies placed third in the picture this elementary level challenge. Team members included Sunset Ridge's Amy Ma, Olivia Hampton, Ria Shah, Thalia Siemsen, and Sophie Qadir.

Their story was about two sisters, Misty and Lily, whose grandmother was very sick. They stumble soon a book that gives information on a mystical amethyst heart that can cure any disease. The girls set out to find it. They have to create a new dance, which involves ballet, hip hop and an Indian dance called bharatnathyam, to get the mystical heart and use it to cure their grandmother.

Team just Do It chose the Technical 'The Big Fix' 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 were to design and build an invention that uses technical methods to solve a problem, create and present a story about how team-selected problem is solved with the invention, include an invention artifact and flashback in the story, and design and build impact scenery demonstrating the impact of solving the problem using technical methods from three fields of technology. Two 'team choice elements' are required as well that showcase the team's interests, strengths, and talents.

The other 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 with more than 1 million students having taken part in its acclaimed academic program.  This year, more than 150,000 students 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 or Destination Imagination Wisconsin websites.