Submitted by Destination Imagination of Bedford
Two teams of Bedford students, along with approximately 1100 other teams from 38 states and 11 foreign countries, descended upon Kansas City on May 22 for the 2019 Destination Imagination Global Finals, a competition and celebration of the creative process in a multitude of science, engineering, and arts-based domains.
The Kansas City Convention Center became a hub of kid-based invention as championship teams showcased their creations and presented them for the final time at the highest level of competition in the DI season.
There’s more to read
but first a small gallery of TEJKMO and Skittleeworm images
And the Story Continues
Destination Imagination (DI) is a project-based extracurricular that teaches kids the creative process, from concept to design to execution, with an emphasis on teamwork, creativity, and problem-solving. Students are matched up into teams of up to 7 students in or close to their grade level in the fall, and work together all winter on creating a challenge solution, including writing scripts, building scenery, and designing props and costumes on a very small budget, entirely without input or assistance from people outside of their team. Parents, teachers, and coaches can’t measure, cut or nail together wood for the team, sew costumes, rebuild, or improve something that falls apart. Everything about the project is entirely original work of the students’ own hands and minds.
The 7th-grade Skittleworms (Ada Cooprider, Toby Favalora, Rachael Hsu, Evan Kelly, Hayden McAllister, and Jane Stewart) drew an early performance slot on Wednesday, soon after they arrived in Missouri. The 5th-grade team, TEJKMO, (Tyler Munsie, Eliza Dickert, Jacob Loroutas, Kevin Visoka, Mina Belir and Owen Walton) performed on Friday. In addition to navigating a very large convention center, each team needed to determine how to reassemble and test their challenge solution after it had been shipped halfway across the country. Both teams also competed in “Instant Challenge,” an activity designed to test quick thinking, communication, and teamwork over a very short 5 to 8-minute timeframe.
The two Bedford teams also got to display their creations in an open-to-the-public prop storage booth, and to walk around a convention center comprising 4 city blocks that was jam-packed with student design ingenuity. Of particular note were a giant papier-mache whale created by high school students from Washington state, an impeccably detailed dragon made by a middle school team from China, and some high-fashion costumes featuring ingeniously up-cycled materials such as coffee filters, latex gloves, and plastic shopping bags!
Students were invited to celebrate their own creative costuming during an event known as the “Box and Ballers Bash” where it is a tradition to craft wearable art using duct tape and other household supplies. Actor and author Chris Colfer, a Destination Imagination and Glee alum, gave the opening address before a crowd of over 10,000 at the Sprint Center arena, kicking off the celebration with a festive spectacle. And many of the Bedford students participated in the DI custom of pin trading, where small lapel pin mementos are exchanged with students from other delegations from nearly every state and country, creating another vehicle for cross-cultural interaction.
At the end of the week, tournament results were announced. Team TEJKMO overcame some technical challenges to place a respectable 39th, with an impressive 9th place finish in the Instant Challenge Category. The Skittleworms finished on the podium with a 3rd place win in a field of 80 teams, with a thrilling walk on to the stage of the packed arena to receive their trophies and medals.
All twelve students were proud to participate in the experience of a lifetime. These students are very excited to bring their passion for arts, engineering, and creativity back to Bedford to share with other students and their community!
TEJKMO and the Skittleworms would like to thank the community for their support over the past month and to all those who contributed to the fundraising efforts. In addition Bedford DI would like to extend its sincere thanks to the following community sponsors for supporting our students and making this trip possible: The Bedford Rotary, Bedford Orthodontics, Chestnut Dental, AFC Urgent Care, the JGMS MSPA, Callahan’s Karate, Ken’s NY Deli, Suzanne & Company, QinetiQ North America, and Ginger Japanese Restaurant.