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4 teams advance to state finals in Destination ImagiNation

4 teams advance to state finals in Destination ImagiNation
4 teams advance to state finals in Destination ImagiNation
From left, St. John's Lutheran School sixth graders Kendra Smith, Caryn Eisert, Alyssa Walther, Anna Ingle, Olivia Bays and Emma Bays compete Saturday on the elementary level in the CSI: DI team challenge in which teams designed a skit that included a colorful character and a shadowy character. They also had to build a gadget that uses one or more of the properties of visible light coming from or into the gadget to analyze a piece of evidence during the skit. St. John's had seven teams compete Saturday at the regional DI competition. Two of those middle-level teams advanced to the state level. (Photo by Tonya Windell)

Students from all over the county competed at the Destination ImagiNation (DI) regional competition Saturday at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.
In all, Harrison County was represented by 10 teams ‘ seven teams from St. John’s Lutheran School, one from New Middletown Elementary, one from Morgan Elementary and one from North Harrison Middle School.
Four of those teams advanced and will compete at the state level April 21 in Noblesville. First-place teams at state advance to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn.
Students are divided in three levels ‘ elementary, middle and secondary ‘ to compete in both a team challenge and instant challenge.
Team challenges involve a skit that students prepare in advance in which some problem must be solved with a set number of elements included. This year, students could choose from five different team challenges. Younger members could participate in the Rising Stars program, which includes only a team challenge and is not judged.
The instant challenge forces students to think on their feet and be creative. They are generally given three to five minutes to solve a problem. Students do not know in advance what they will be given when they enter an instant challenge room. They could have to build a flying device out of paper materials that is required to fly a certain distance or even create a two-minute skit in five minutes using a piece of poster board, a piece of foil, some markers and a pair of scissors.
The teams are scored on both elements, and their combined score determines how each team places in the competition. The top two schools in each of the five team challenges advances to state.
North Harrison Middle School placed first. They chose Direct Flight as their team challenge which required them to build an aircraft that would fly to one of several landing zones. In addition, they had to design and construct an elevator that would raise and launch the aircraft. They also had to create a skit that would bring those elements, along with several others, together.
The team, which has advanced to the Global Finals twice, is coached by Ron and Elisabeth Hamby and consists of Caleb Hamby, Jessica Richards, Brooke Lamon, Melanie Johnson, Austin Wheatley and Jessica Robson.
Lamon said the group built two aircrafts for their presentation and had two spares. The group has been working since last November.
‘It worked pretty well,’ Richards said.
Morgan Elementary also placed first in their Round About Courage challenge. The challenge required them to create a skit about a hero and create a technical piece. They also could not use electricity. Their solution was a hero named Dr. McFailure and a microscope that turned into a syringe.
The team received a Renaissance Award for using a two-wheel dolly, hula hoop, tomato wire, plastic and a block-and-tackle pulley to make the super-sized microscope that transformed into a syringe.
Lynn Wagoner coached the second-year team who named themselves the Delightful Duck Tape Doers. The team is made up of fifth graders Brianna Jacobi, Kendra Lambert, Keith Jones, Joseph Hinton, Adam Parr, Tyler Jones and Kelsey Chinn. The students advanced to the Global Finals last year with the exception of Parr, who is new to the team.
St. John’s had a team in the middle level of Round About Courage and placed second. They had the same challenges as Morgan’s team but competed on a higher level against four other middle school teams.
The team was coached by Pam Johnston and consisted of Tyler Best, Nick Cokely, Mackenzie Johnston, Shelbie Timberlake and Michael Sutherland.
Brian Oberdieck coached another middle-level team that placed first in their CarDIology challenge. The group had to design, build and test a structure made completely out of playing cards. Using glue was an option. They also had to make an architectural drawing of the structure and present a skit involving those elements.
Team members included Hannah Bays, Vince Cecil, Alexis Kerr and Alex Kessinger.
Oberdieck, who teaches third and fourth grade at St. John’s and serves as their DI coordinator, said 40 St. John’s students and 21 volunteers, both teachers and parents, participated on Saturday.
Aside from the two teams that advanced, St. John’s had another middle-level team consisting of sixth, seventh and eighth graders who participated.
Two teams of third, fourth and fifth graders competed at the elementary level.
One of those received a special DaVinci Award ‘for boldly going in a different and creative direction’ in their Round About Courage challenge. The elementary-level team was coached by Deanna Behr and consisted of Luke Beach, Michaela Behr, Regan Best, Caleb Gresham, Ben Heinz, Sayde Spence and Jon Will.
St. John’s also had two teams made of first and second graders who participated in the Rising Stars program.