The Pike-Delta-York Local Schools will be well represented at the Global Finals of the Destination ImagiNation competition in Knoxville, TN from May 24th-27th 2017. Formerly known as Odyssey of the Mind until 1999, Destination ImagiNation or DI is one of the world’s largest creative and problem solving programs, focusing on the use of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This year PDY had fourteen teams compete at the regional level with eight teams advancing to the state competition and with three moving on from there to the Global Finals. Approximately 1400 teams representing forty-seven states, seven Canadian provinces, and fifteen countries will be on hand for the four-day event. This is the second year in a row that PDY has sent three teams to this level of competition. Two years ago two teams advanced to the Global Finals with one of the teams bringing home a 3rd place finish.
This is an extracurricular activity so the students juggle their busy schedules to make the extra time to participate. The teams, which average about seven students per team, were a mix of elementary and middle school students with the high school team that qualified for Global Finals having a team member from the eighth grade. There are also opportunities for students in K-2 to form teams as an introduction to the DI competition. The teams begin meeting in October and meet 1-2 times a week there after to work on the problem that has been presented to them.
This year the teams were met with the challenge of building two or more structures out of balsa wood and glue. Part of the requirements were the structure had to weigh less than 100 grams and be between 7.5-9 inches tall. After building many test structures, the team called 3 Peeps and 2 Awesome Geniuses with members Avery Tedrow, Natalie Friess, Cooper Tenney, Hannah Barnes, Joel Arroyo-Smith, led by team managers Carmen Tedrow and Jana Friess, built a structure that weighed approximately 22 grams and held 645 pounds. The New Phone…Who Dis? team consisting of members Joe Richardson, Hailey Hoffman, Courtney Riches, Sydney Schauwecker and team manager Jane Foor created a structure weighing 15.5 grams and it held 240 pounds. The weight held ratios plus the innovative design and creativity of the members, qualified the teams for the Global Finals. The third team to qualify was an improv team called The Six Unknown Superstars, its team members were Taylor Bernal, Adrienne Buckenmeyer Morghyn Tippens, Trevor Nowak, Ethan Huffman, Jordinn Heinemann with team manager Jennifer Buckenmeyer. This team impressed the audience with their three improvised skits to earn their way to Knoxville.
DI advisor Jane Foor says being a part of this competition and advancing to the Global Finals will be an eye-opening experience for the students, “Being part of this event and meeting other students from around the country and around the world and experiencing new cultures is something I hope the students walk away realizing how unique this event is. It’s also good for the students to see the other ways teams accomplished the goal, ways that our students may not have thought of. The students also exchange pins with the other participants, it’s a good way for kids to start conversations with each other”, said Foor. Foor also stated not every school offers programs like this, “There is only one other school in Fulton County that still does DI competition so we are very fortunate that this program is offered at PDY.”
A challenge they are facing is raising funds for the trip. Sending three teams to the Global Finals will cost about $19,000 for travel expenses, lodging, and food for the teams. As a result, a GoFundMe account has been setup: https://www.gofundme.com/2017-di-global-finals-in-knoxville, or if organizations would like to sponsor the teams, contact Jane Foor at (419) 583-7736 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Any other donations, such as a gift cards and certificates will be accepted at any time. Checks should be made out to PDY Schools-Destination Imagination and sent to Pike Delta York Middle School, Attn: Jane Foor, 1101 Panther Pride Dr., Delta, OH 43515. It’s also noted that any sponsors donating $250 or more by May 16th will be listed on the team shirts.