Destination Imagination Teams Place First in State

Destination Imagination teams place first in state
Posted on 03/25/2019

Three Burke County teams competed in North Carolina Destination Imagination State Tournament on March 16. Destination Imagination (DI) is an international student-centered competitive S.T.E.A.M program. It blends science, art, technology, and engineering together in a creative setting.  A team consists of 2-7 students. At the beginning of the Destination Imagination season, in September, the team selects a challenge to solve. They work on solving that challenge all year long and then take their solution to a regional or state competition. There are technical, scientific, engineering, fine arts, improvisational, and service learning problem options each year.


Heritage Middle School had two teams, managed by Michael McQuaid and Lauren Owens.  One chose to solve the engineering challenge and the other chose the scientific challenge.  In the engineering challenge, the team had to design and build a tower made with any of the following materials: wood, monofilament fishing line, tin foil, rubber bands, glue, wire, paper, duct tape, electrical tape, mylar balloons, and vinyl tubing. The tower had to be between 7.5”-9” tall and weigh less than 175 grams. The tower also had to trigger a team created a special effect to occur that enhanced the sudden appearance of a monster in an 8-minute play. The team wrote their own script which had to incorporate the tower. The team's tower weighed 20.1 grams and was made with balsa wood, duct tape, monofilament fishing line, and held 150 pounds.  Their play was about an art contest that ended with a “monster of jealous rage” murdering one of the artists in the contest. The HMS Engineering Team beat Cane Creek Middle School, whose team finished third in the entire world last year in the middle school Tower Building Challenge at DI Global Finals.


The science DI team had to research an actual medical illness, create the body part that shows at least one symptom of the illness, diagnosis the illness, and present everything in an 8-minute play that was shown in two perspectives at the same time. The team chose Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis as their illness and created a liver out of plaster and red thermochromatic pigment that turned white when heated to show the symptoms of the disease. Their performance was about a pop star who was drinking herself to death and was diagnosed and saved by three members of the infamous “27 Club” which is made up of dead celebrities who all died at the age of 27, some from alcohol.  The 27 Club members who came back from the dead in the performance to save the pop star were Amy Winehouse, Ron “Pig Pen” McKernan of the Grateful Dead, and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones all of whom suffered from Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis. The team received the highest raw scores in HMS DI History.


Draughn High School’s team, managed by Heidi Hyde, competed in the Improv acting challenge and finished first as well. They had to research 10 historical figures found on coins from different countries. Then, two of those figures were chosen at random and the team was given a situation featuring those characters. The team had two minutes to develop a 5-minute improv performance about those two historical figures and the random situation.  To make matters more interesting, they also had to incorporate the theatrical styles of comedy and tragedy, an additional situation, and both verbal and non-verbal acting. The team’s historical figures were Victor Hugo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Their situation involved two of them shopping for a new used car. Their additional situation was a book with no words. To be successful in this challenge, the team members had to think fast on their feet to present a solution because they did not know what to expect when their performance began.


Another part of the competition is called Instant Challenge, in which the team is asked to produce an on-demand solution in just five to eight minutes using quick, creative, and critical thinking skills.  


All three DI teams qualified for Global Finals to be held in Kansas City because they finished first in their division and challenge. Last year, there were teams from China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Panama, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Portugal,  Guatemala, Singapore, South Korea, and 40 US States.


McQuaid said, “The kids would not have done as well as they did if it were not for the amazing administration and staff here at HMS and DHS and super supportive parents.  Mr. Sain, Mrs. Wright, Mr. Gardner, and Mr. Hallyburton, and the rest of the HMS and DHS family, as well as the parents of each student, have supported these teams from the get-go and have continually encouraged them along the way this season.”     


He continued, “We will continue next year with DI at HMS and DHS and hope to create a feeder program by expanding it to Drexel Elementary and Valdese Elementary. I would love for kids to start DI in elementary school and do it all the way through high school.”



Heritage Engineering Team members include

7th Graders Anahy C.

8th Graders: Wyatt B.,  Libby T., Kaitlyn S., Peri T., Emma W., Elias P.



Heritage Science Team members include

6th Grader- Addyson W.

7th Graders- Karson I., Mason B., Naiyenne Ne., Janelly P.

8th Graders- Chassity H., Charis H.


Draughn High School Improv Team Members include:

9th Graders- Kaisey J., Carmen M., McKinley C., Caitlyn P., Kaylee C.

11th Grader Amelia T.

12th Grader- Kaleb S.


Weblink to learn more   https://www.destinationimagination.org/


HMS Science team
HMS Science team


HMS Engineering Team
HMS Engineering Team


DHS Improv Team
DHS Improv Team

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