Destination Imagination Teams Qualify for Global Finals

Team+Five+Carbon+Sugars+sets+up+for+their+technical+challenge+at+the+State+Tournament.+Photo+courtesy+of+Chun-ying+Wu.

Team “Five Carbon Sugars” sets up for their technical challenge at the State Tournament. Photo courtesy of Chun-ying Wu.

Three of Beachwood’s Destination Imagination (DI) teams placed at the state tournament in Mt. Vernon, Ohio on April 11. Hilltop’s team won first place, while two of the BHS teams came in third.

One high school team, called “The Flaming Marshmallowzzzz,” consisted of sophomores Andrew Feldman, Julia Warner, Amanda Wasserman and Molly Rosen. The other team, “The Five Carbon Sugars,” was composed of freshmen Jinle Zhu, Samantha Zawatsky, Asha Gaines-Smith, Angela Wang and Megan Opre.

“I am very proud of the team as a whole,” sophomore Andrew Feldman said. “[We] have been victorious.”

The performance qualifies the teams for Global Finals, held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. According to DI adviser and Hilltop Elementary School teacher Shelley Lewis, teams from approximately 45 states and 12 countries will be in attendance.

Students are tasked with performing various challenges ranging from a technical challenge, building a robot, to an art challenge, performing a skit, all the way to a “project outreach challenge” where the teams perform an act of charity work for the community.

DI team members must use critical thinking skills — while connecting with teammates — to come up with creative solutions to a variety of challenges.

“One example of a challenge that we had to complete was building a vehicle that could carry one team member that could also transport items,” Zhu explained. “We had to bring items in the vehicle to one location, build something out of those items and have the same vehicle transport it back to the start.”

Students are tasked with performing various challenges ranging from a technical challenge, building a robot, to an art challenge, performing a skit, all the way to a “project outreach challenge” where the teams perform an act of charity work for the community.”

Teams travel to different locations for competitions and continue advancing to higher levels, but Beachwood students do not always have to travel very far.

“Beachwood has hosted the regional tournament for the past several years,” DI adviser and Hilltop teacher Shelly Lewis said.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Warner said. “Two of the main focuses of DI are creativity and teamwork, so a lot of it is actually getting to have fun and create new things with your team.”

Beachwood DI teams have had great success recently.

Lewis said that five Beachwood teams attended the state tournament in 2014, with six attending this year.

Feldman said team members enjoy being creative and working collaboratively.

“My teammates and I have learned so much about ourselves while having fun and making our imagination come to life,” he said.

“Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about teamwork, creativity, time management, and planning,” Warner said. “DI is great for younger kids to learn how to work with other people, and it’s also a good experience for learning how to start a project and follow through with it.”