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Heritage Destination Imagination team places 2nd in state

posted Mar 26, 2018, 12:03 PM by Cheryl Shuffler

By Student News Ambassador Garrett Moore


Morganton, NC – Monday, March 26, 2018


Heritage Middle School’s Destination Imagination team finished second in the state in a recent competition. Destination Imagination is an international competitive S.T.E.A.M program that blends science, art, technology and engineering together in a creative setting for everyone. The program is a personal and hands-on skilled program that promotes thought and ideas in the minds of students and teachers.


Heritage team member Kaisey Jones said Destination Imagination “encourages us to work together to solve problems.” Fellow teammate Abigail Jones said it “brings people together.” And McKinley Clark likes it because you get to be “really creative.


The engineering challenge Heritage Middle School took on required them to design a tower made from wood, monofilament fishing line, rubber bands, cork and glue that could not exceed 180 grams, and be between 7.5 and 9 inches tall and at least 3.5 inches wide. Then they placed it in a tester and dropped 5 and 10 pound weights 3 feet on it to see how much it would hold. The HMS team’s tower weighed 34 grams and held 500 pounds. They also had to design and engineer an “event depictor,” said Michael McQuaid, a Heritage teacher and the Destination Imagination team manager. It visually and/or audibly displayed a “sudden event,” McQuaid said, in a play that they wrote, directed and produced. Their event depictor was a zoetrope. The zoetrope was made from a broken record player that was re-wired in order to make it work. The anime style animation inside the zoetrope displayed a boy and girl falling in love. Their play was a love story about a boy that spends too much time playing games on his phone but later recognizes that girls exist once he powers off his phone.


A third part of the competition was called Instant Challenge.  “This is where the team is was required to engage in quick, creative, and critical thinking skills where the team members must think on their feet by applying appropriate skills to produce a solution in a period of just 5 to 8 minutes,” McQuaid said.


During the recent competition, the team scored 344 out of a possible 450 points. Their tower held 500 pounds before breaking. They also finished first in the state in the Instant Challenge part of the competition. McQuaid said, “The first place team beat us by 40 points, which is not much in the world of DI. In practice, the team’s towers were holding 760 pounds. If the competition tower held what the kids were holding in practice, we would have finished first in the state and beat a team that finished 14th in the entire world last year.”


The Heritage team qualifies for a wild card spot at the DI Global Tournament to be held at the University of Tennessee Knoxville at the end of May. However, the team will not find out if they qualify for a wild card spot until April 23. If given the chance to attend Globals, They will compete with teams literally from all over the country and  world. Last year, there were teams from China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Singapore, South Korea, and 40 states in the U.S.


“The kids would not have done as well as they did if it were not for the amazing administration and staff here at HMS. Mrs. Moore, Mr. Hallyburton, and the rest of the HMS family have supported this team from the get go and has continually encouraged them along way this season,” McQuaid said. “We will continue next year with DI at HMS and hope to expand the program to Draughn High School because some of our eighth grade team members want to do it in high school.”


To learn more, visit https://www.destinationimagination.org/


Photo: Team members are seventh graders Wyatt Bevins and Libby Toole and eighth graders Dallas McCall, Kaisey Jones, Carmen Morales, McKinley Clark, and Abigail Reyes-Calderon.