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District 46 Students Win First Place In Destination Imagination Competition

Grayslake students earned the chance to compete in the Global Destination Imagination competition matching up against teams from the US, Brazil, China, India and more, if they can raise enough funds for the trip.

The Community Consolidated School District 46 Education Foundation is proud to announce that the Elementary Destination ImagiNation® (DI) Structural Challenge State Champions are D46 students.

DI is designed to allow students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, organizers said. It is a global program that fosters a dynamic skill set necessary for future success and cultivates student development into world-class innovators and critical thinkers. 

“Sizzling Bacon,” a team of seven D46 students in grades 3 and 4, chose “Hold It!,” the Structural Challenge. The Challenge required the team to accomplish the following:

  • Design and build a Structure made only of wood and glue to hold weight and contain Tournament provided golf balls.
  • Design and build a Delivery Device to deposit the golf balls, one at a time, into the Structure.
  • Create and present an original Story about a “Captivator” and integrate the Weight Placement and Golf Ball Delivery into the Story.

The team comprised of students from Woodview and Prairieview Schools took first place at the Regional Tournament on March 3, allowing them to advance to the State Tournament where they also took first place. 

The team was led by volunteer parents Julie Kokkin and Scott Landy. The team qualified for the Global Tournament that will be held at the University of Tennessee the week of May 23-26.

"Their success has been a combination of four things: 1) the team’s creative approach to their challenge; 2) the team’s willingness to continue to re-examine all aspects of the solution and to improve on it between tournaments; and 3) the team’s ability to pull together as a team at tournaments, and (4) the extreme dedication of the individual team members to be there for the team (three of the team members were sick, one with the flu during the state tournament)," said Landy.  

He said the team members are thrilled to have earned the right to compete at Globals.

"The kids are really excited to be going to DI Global Finals," Landy said. "When it was announced that they won, they shot out of their seats screaming. Now that the moment is past, they are still exited but also nervous, as they understand that they are no longer just representing Grayslake, but also the State of Illinois in a global competition with teams from around the world."

The honor comes at a cost, however, as costs for the team are expected to exceed $7,000. While the D46 Foundation was able to support the districtwide program through the State Competition with a sponsorship provided by FedEx Ground, the team now needs to raise the funds to attend Globals.

At the Global Tournament, students will have the exciting opportunity to compete against teams from across the US, Brazil, China, India and more. They can also choose to pair with an International Team as Buddy Teams for the week, adding to the multicultural learning experience.

CCSD46 Education Foundation President Kristin Roy-Heupel said DI fosters creativity in the students.

"DI Challenges have such varied aspects that there is something that appeals to the interests of almost every child," Heupel said. "Even when teams elect to approach a scientific, technical or structural challenge, the kids have to determine how they can present their solution to the challenge in a creative way. Regardless of the challenge, they create backdrops, costumes, write a skit and make props."

She said the DI participants learn to approach complex tasks with the added component of working with a team.

"The kids are motivated to do the research to learn the information and the skills needed to address their given challenge," Heupel said. "They are learning to communicate and exchange ideas about how they can solve problems. In the team context, the students come to realize that when you work with others you can't just "do," you've got to communicate, have an agreed upon plan, and make sure that everyone has a role to play. Kids with varying skills and interests are brought together and have the opportunity to learn from one another."

Another D46 team placed fourth at Regionals on March 3 to also advance to state. “The Electrolytes,” a team of five students in grade 3 through 5 chose “Coming Attractions,” the fine arts challenge.

They presented a Movie Trailer involving characters from at least two nations, design and include a Cinematic Special Effect, and create a Soundtrack for their trailer. These students from Avon, Frederick, Meadowview and Prairieview Schools placed fourth among 14 teams in the Regional Tournament and were among four Elementary Level “Coming Attractions” teams presented with an invitation to attend the State Tournament. This team was led by volunteer parents, Tom Forman and Kim Gallagher.

Families and D46 Staff interested in learning more about D46 Destination ImagiNation can attend an informational meeting at the  June 4. People can subscribe to the DI email distribution list by sending an email to d46foundation@gmail.com

As a 501(c)3, the Education Foundation accepts tax-deductible donations to support the team’s registration and room and board at Globals. Any business offering financial support to the team will be recognized on the DI page on the Foundation’s website. Businesses donating $250 or more will also have the opportunity to have their business logo on shirts the team will wear at the tournament.

Donations can be made on the Foundation’s website, www.d46foundation.org, using our PayPal donate button. Checks can be made payable to the CCSD 46 Education Foundation and sent to: CCSD 46 Education Foundation, P.O. Box 7261, Grayslake, IL 60030.

Sully April 18, 2012 at 02:41 PM
This, along with the results of the Science Olympiad competition, is great to see. Excellent job D46!
Siobhann April 18, 2012 at 10:33 PM
The accomplishments of both the Science Olympiads from Frederick and the Destination Imagination team speak volumes about the dedication of the students, staff and parents in D46. Kudos to you all! Good luck at Globals Sizzling Bacon!
Marie April 19, 2012 at 09:48 PM
The middle school had a fantastic showing at state as well!! 13th overall in the state at a nationally competitive level.
Sully April 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Yes, the middle school did a super job. Nicole McRee, a 7th grade science teacher there and the head of Science Olympiad, worked very hard to ensure success. Another teacher giving her all for the district.

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