DATE: May 21, 2019
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer
32 ACPS Students From Six Teams Selected for Destination Imagination’s Global Competition; Albemarle High School Team Is State Champion
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Six teams and 32 students from Albemarle County Public Schools have earned spots in Destination Imagination’s Global Finals at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, following the Virginia state competition earlier this month. One team from Albemarle High School took first place at the regional and state tournaments and received a Renaissance Award for proposing a distinctive solution to its challenge.
Destination Imagination (DI) is a worldwide program that began in 1999. Its mission is to “develop opportunities that inspire the global community of learners to utilize diverse approaches in applying 21st century skills and creativity.”
Each year, 150,000 students and 38,000 parent volunteers from 48 states and 30 countries compete in one of seven challenge categories. The categories include technical, scientific, engineering, fine arts, service learning, early learning, and improvisation. Students work on presentations and exhibits that solve a challenge posed to them in the fall. Regional and state competitions determine which teams will compete in the Global Finals, which brings together more than 1,400 teams from around the world.
“From its inception, Destination Imagination was ahead of its time in preparing students for future success. For many good reasons, there has been an increased emphasis on project-based and hands-on learning in education today. DI encourages exactly the kind of problem solving, teamwork, creativity, and analytical thinking skills that constitute the strengths valued in our companies and communities,” said Carrie Taylor, a DI regional director and member of its state board.
Each student team can include up to seven members with an adult serving as a mentor or an advisor. Mentors are not permitted to assist students as they develop their ideas into presentations. Most teams begin work in September with local tournaments in February. Competition levels span pre-K through college.
This year, the technical challenge required teams to design and build an aircraft that takes off, flies, lands, and delivers a team-created payload while telling the story of a character exploring a remote place. The scientific challenge required students to research the human body and medical conditions that affect the human body, simultaneously creating and presenting a story about a medical mystery that affects a human character.
Students who selected the engineering challenge had to design and build a structure that can support weight without breaking while also creating and presenting a story in which the sudden appearance of a monster has surprising results. In fine arts, teams had to tell a story that integrates research of a team-selected game and presents a game gizmo that causes an action or event to occur. The improvisational challenge asked students to research historical figures found on coins from around the world and then do an improvisational skit that includes the historical figures in a tale.
The service learning challenge asked students to identify, design, plan and implement a project that addresses an existing community need and theatrically presents the suspenseful story of an attempted escape. For early learning, students were required to explore fiction and nonfiction stories and create an interactive book to help tell the story. The competition also includes an instant challenge in which teams are unaware of the topic ahead of time, furnished with materials, and asked to respond within a limited timeframe.
“I am constantly amazed at these students’ poise and creativity,” said Taylor. “Destination Imagination also offers them yet another very important 21st century learning opportunity: the chance to interact and network with peers from all around our nation and world. These memories and relationships benefit students for a lifetime,” she said.
The Global Competition this year is May 22-25 and, for most teams, presents perhaps the most difficult challenge of all: It’s estimated that it costs over $10,000 per team to be able to make the trip to Kansas City. Students now are engaged in various fundraising activities to make the trip possible.
Albemarle County students who qualified for the Global Finals include:
From Albemarle High School, Kevin Cain, Julia Duvas, Cassidy Guyton, Katy Haden, Sabrina Shisbey, and Elly Zarzyski; Mentor is Steph Haden. Members of a second team from Albemarle include Jackie Joyce, Alia Konold, Emma McMullen, Samantha Sanford, and Sophia Yu; Mentor is Lynette Sanford.
From Sutherland Middle School, Ben Baker, Sean Fu, Landon Hall, Adam Kester, Jack Liebengood, and Bennon Papin; Mentor is Sarah Papin. A second team from Sutherland includes Quiming Fu, Evelyn Flasscheon, Luke Leroux, and Maggie Leroux, as well as Sarah Leroux from Hollymead Elementary School; Mentor is Diane Leroux.
From Brownsville Elementary School, Thomas Crabtree, Payton Haium, Harper Kalergis, Maddox Nauman, and Riley Warnick; Mentors are Jacqueline Thomas and Susan Kalergis. Members of a second team from Brownsville are Ava Cairns, Angelina Gao, Clemente Norambuena, Hannah Miller, and Samuel Miller; Mentors are SalleeAnn Miller and Yingjiu Nie.