Destination Imagination team qualifies for nationals

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Sunset Ridge's Destination Imagination team took third place at the state tournament held in Stevens Point this past weekend and qualified them for the Global Finals, which will be held in Knoxville, Tenn., on May 22-25.  

The "DI ACES" are comprised of six fourth-grade students: Alex Button, Arber Jonuzi, Calvin Slinde, Edwin Zhang, Julia Zhang, Sam Svendsen. Derren Slinde is the team manager.

Out of 19 elementary teams competing in the Fine Arts In Disguise Team Challenge, the DI ACES placed third overall with a tie for second in the Instant Challenge. 

The requirements of their team challenge was to present a story about a character that uses a disguise. The name of their story was, "The Lost Treasure of Psy." They could only use non-verbal theatrical techniques to present the story and it had to include at least two masks, one of which that morphs.

In addition, the team challenge required two team choice elements that showcase the team's interests, strengths and talents. Team DI ACES created three backdrops for their story as well as a soundtrack that included their own recorded piano music and sound effects.

In the Instant Challenge team members were presented a challenge, oftentimes with materials, that they had to solve in a short period of time, usually 5 minutes, Derren Slinde said.

Global Finals is the culminating event of every Destination Imagination season. More than 1,200 teams from 45 states, seven Canadian provinces and 13 countries gather to showcase their Challenge solutions.

Destination Imagination (DI) is a non-profit organization that helps 125,000 students each year from around the world discover their creativity and develop lifelong critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving skills. The United States and more than 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.

Visit the Destination Imagination or Global Finals websites for more information.