Highbridge Hill Elementary DI team take first in state

  • The Highbridge Hill Elementary School Destination Imagination team finished in first place at the state competition in Bedford on Saturday.  Photo by Wayne Kurtzman

  • Above: The Highbridge Hill team, consisting of Breanna McCabe, left, Logan Sikkila, Braeden Michaud, Maya Oliveira, Owen Pearson, Brody Blood and Brooke Sheridan and team leader Annette Leel, back. Left: Logan Sikkila, left, and Braeden Michaud, as squash on “Veggie Island.” —Photo by Rachel Reekie

  • Photo by Rachel Reekie.

  • Photo by Rachel Reekie.

  • The Highbridge Hill Elementary School took first place at the state Destination Imagination finals. Photo by Rachel Reekie


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:50AM

A team of newcomer Destination Imagination members will be moving on to Globals next month, after coming away with a first-place win at state competition over the weekend.

Highbridge Hill Elementary School will be one of 39 New Hampshire Destination Imagination teams moving on to the Globals competition in Tennessee, after placing first in the Engineering Challenge: Drop Zone at the State Finals competition in Bedford on Saturday.

Destination Imagination is club that encourages problem-solving and innovation by presenting students with challenges that incorporate science, technology, engineering, arts and math. For the engineering challenge, the Highbridge Hill team needed to design, build and test a structure that could withstand impacts from dropped weights, while telling a story about a sudden event with dramatic impact.

“As a parent, when your kid in interested in Destination Imagination, you don’t really understand what it entails, you just think it’s another extra-curricular club,” said Shannon Michaud, whose son Braeden Michaud in on the team. “Once they start, and you see them on stage, you start realizing what they’re capable of doing, it’s pretty amazing to know that did all of it themselves.”

The Highbridge team, in line with the challenge, build a structure out of balsa wood, glue, fishing wire and cork, weighing under 35 grams (theirs totaled at 28 grams) which had to stand up to increasing amount of weight piled upon a ten-pound board. Their structure was constructed by Braeden Michaud and Logan Sikkila. 

“They added 130 pounds and it never broke,” said Michaud. “There were no more weights to drop.”

The structure had to be incorporated into a skit, performed with the team’s other five members, including Branna McCabe, Maya Oliveira, Owen Pearson, Brody Blood and Brooke Sheridan, about a life-changing event. In Highbridge’s skit, a newly-married couple has a honeymoon muddle when their trip to the “V. Islands” turns out to be the Veggie Islands, instead of the Virgin Islands, where the inhabitants are carrots, peas, tomatoes and squash. 

Winning victory at state competition qualifies the team to move on to Global competition on May 22-27. With only a month to raise the funds for entry fees, travel, lodging, and shipping their props, the team has kicked into immediate high gear to raise the $12,000 needed to get them there.  

Over the next few weeks, the team will be holding several fundraisers to raise the funds. Team members are currently selling calendar raffle tickets for $10 per ticket. A prize will be drawn every day, and participants have a total of 31 chances to win a prize.

The team will be “canning” this Saturday, standing outside at various local businesses asking for the community’s support with donation cans.

On April 28, the Kona Ice truck will be at the Bordertown Baseball opening day, with a percentage of sales donated to the team’s fundraising efforts.

On May 5, the team will host a yard sale at Highbridge Hill Elementary School from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. They are accepting donations for the yard sale, with no electronic devices accepted, or personal sellers can purchase a space for $10 or $20 to rent a table. Vendor booths are free if they donate an item for the raffle. Vendors are welcome. Also on May 5, the team will be selling refreshments at the Mascenic Home Track Meet. 

Tax-deductible donations can be made out to HHES DI and mailed to Highbridge Hill Elementary School at 171 Turnpike Road in New Ipswich. 


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.