Area Destination Imagination teams make it to global competition

  • Three local Destination Imagination teams finished second in their categories at state competitions over the weekend, qualifying them for the Global competition in Missouri in May. Photos courtesy of NH-DI.org—

  • Three local Destination Imagination teams finished second in their categories at state competitions over the weekend, qualifying them for the Global competition in Missouri in May. Photos courtesy of NH-DI.org—

  • Three local Destination Imagination teams finished second in their categories at state competitions over the weekend, qualifying them for the Global competition in Missouri in May. Photos courtesy of NH-DI.org—

  • Mascenic High School Destination Imagination team Cameron Smith, Alaina Kivela, Jillian German, Brienna Muhonen and Kolby Vautour. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/3/2019 4:29:43 PM

Mascenic Regional High School’s first-ever Destination Imagination team are headed to the organization’s Global competition this year, along with two other area teams.

Destination Imagination is a school club in which teams of students create skits and scenarios based around challenges that incorporate a number of disciplines, such as science, engineering, improvisation, and fine arts. Students compete against other teams on regional, state and global stages.

Jennifer German, team manager for the high school team, said in an interview Wednesday the team is made up of five freshmen, Kolby Vautour, Cameron Smith, Jillian German, Alaina Kivela and Brienna Muhonen, who have worked together on Destination Imagination teams in middle and elementary school.

“The kids approached me,” German, whose daughter is on the team, said. “I don’t know why it’s never started at Mascenic [High School] prior to that, but it was definitely their initiative that started it up now.”

The members aren’t new to the concept of the Destination Imagination Globals, German said – they’ve reached that milestone with their previous teams. They held their own on the high school stage, nabbing a first-place win at regionals, and a second place finish at the state level in the On Target challenge.

The challenge involves moving a weight from one side of a 20-foot stage to the other without human interference over the course of an eight-minute skit.

It wasn’t an easy task, German said.

The group initially tried to build a drone – the first of which caught fire, and the second of which wasn’t fulfilling their goal, German said.

A week before their regional competition, without a working solution, the group didn’t give up. They decided to switch tracks entirely and create a new device – a hoverboard using a leaf blower. Despite the short time frame, they were able to finish in time to take first place at regionals.

“It was a lot of trial and error throughout this whole time,” German said. “But they pulled it through. It was awesome to see they didn’t want to give up knowing how much work they had put into it. They stayed really calm, and were very mature, especially considering they’re all freshmen.”

The top-two finish at state’s qualifies them for the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City, Missouri, which is planned to take place May 22 through 25.

The Mascenic team is being joined by one of the district’s two elementary school teams. The “Gumdrop Gang,” made up of Hailey Saari, Chloe Haavisto, Avery Cormier, Preston Krook, Logan Michaud, Isaac Phillips, Oliver Stenersen, also took second place in the Monster Effects Technical challenge in their grade level.

“The appraisers were impressed with the technical elements, and I was very pleased with their performance,” coach Annette Leel said.

A second Highbridge Hill Elementary Team also attended the state competition in the Escape Artist Challenge, and came in third.

The Jaffrey Grade School team, “The Catastrophes” also qualified for Globals with a second-place finish in the “Medical Mystery Challenge.”

All three teams plan to fundraise through April and May pay for thier travel expenses to get to the competition.

The Highbridge Hill team plans to hold multiple fundraisers in April and May, including a barbeque and yard sale that will be held jointly with the high school team. The Mascenic High School team has a GoFundMe page, available at tinyurl.com/MascenicDI.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.


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