After placing first and winning honors for creativity, teamwork and problem solving in both the regional and state tournaments, Diablo Vista Middle School has earned the right to travel to Destination Imagination's Global Finals, the largest creative thinking and problem solving competition in the world, to be held May 21-24 in Knoxville, TN.
Team members include Diablo Vista Middle School seventh graders Jack Stallard, Ian Walsh, Michael Rhee, and Shania Sandher and eighth graders Ethan Peng and Kyle Wooten.
They will compete with other teams in the Scientific Challenge: Going to Extremes, one of seven, open-ended challenges that require young people to apply science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in addition to improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork and community service.
Rebecca Ingram, Principal of Diablo Vista Middle School said, “I am so impressed by the incredible work effort and persistence shown by the students on our Destination Imagination team. They truly exemplify the love of learning and value of teamwork to reach a goal. We are proud of their accomplishments and wish them well as they continue on this exciting journey.”
"These kids are more self-assured, confident, and poised because of their work in Destination Imagination," said Team Manager Nicky Fildes.
Team Manager Jennifer McCay added, “This team has been thinking divergently for the four years we have been together. DI has helped them succeed in the classroom and will equip them to succeed throughout their lives.”
Team member Kyle Wooten said, "Destination Imagination has taught me to do everything to my best potential. You have to put in the time and the effort to get the results." Team member Shania Sandher emphasized, “We’ve learned how to keep working toward our goal and not give up.”
Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million young people and adults who have benefitted from taking part in its acclaimed Challenge Program. This year, another 100,000 young people have competed in tournaments throughout the U.S. and in 30 countries to earn a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.
This year’s Global Finals Innovation Expo will house engaging exhibits from NASA, 3M, National Geographic, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Laser Pegs, Einstein in a Box, and many other innovative companies.
In addition, participants will have the opportunity to take a journey through a simulated rainforest and learn about its impact on the planet’s ecosystem through the 3M-sponsored, interactive “Explore the Uncharted” exhibit.
“The Destination Imagination Program allows students K-College to learn and experience the creative process. Quantitative reasoning, problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, presentations and thinking on your feet are some of the important skills learned in the program,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination.
The Diablo Vista Middle School team members are among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,250 teams that will advance to Global Finals, which will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 21-24.
In order to reach the Global Finals, The Diablo Vista Middle School team will be raising funds to cover the approximately $20,000 of expected expenses. The money raised would cover registration fees, air fare, ground transportation, lodging, and food for the team manager, team members, and chaperones traveling with the team. They plan to reach out to organizations and individuals who want to contribute to the development and success of youth in their community.Destination Imagination, Inc. dedicates itself to enriching the global community by providing opportunities for learners of all ages to explore and discover using the creative process from imagination to innovation.