Nashua students headed to international Destination Imagination Competition

Courtesy photo by MARYANN PINTO Creative Minds, a Destination Imagination team made up of Bicentennial Elementary School students, is heading to the Global Finals Competition, which will take place on May 22-25 in Kansas City, Missouri. The team, pictured above, received second place in both regional and state competitions in the Heads Up Improvisational challenge.

NASHUA – A team of young innovators from Bicentennial Elementary School is one of more than 1,400 teams that have advanced to participate in the Destination Imagination Global Finals 2019.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of students participate in DI competitions across the world.

As noted by the organization, this year, more than 150,000 students have participated in tournaments throughout the U.S., as well as 30 countries, with hopes of earning a spot at the Global Finals competition.

The Global Finals Competition will take place on May 22-25 in Kansas City, Missouri. As part of DI competitions, students are up against other teams in one of seven challenges, where they must apply science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) skills, as they work together in teams.

The seven team challenge types include engineering, scientific, fine arts, improvisation and a service learning. Each area is designed to prompt students to use creativity and teamwork to solve a problem. For this area of the competition, students have months to prepare.

Some of these challenges may be building an aircraft that takes off, flies and lands, building a structure that can support a certain amount of weight without breaking or researching the human body and medical conditions that affect the human body. In addition, students have to create and present a story for most of these challenges.

There also are instant challenges, where students must think on their feet and come up with a solution in five to eight minutes.

The Bicentennial Elementary students, with the team name Creative Minds, are competing in the Heads Up Improvisational competition.

Creative Minds team manager MaryAnn Pinto said for this competition, her team had to pick six different historical figures from a list of 20 and research them. They chose Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth II, Leonardo Da Vinci and other well-known historical figures.

After they research, they have to create a skit that changes between comedy and tragedy, and also changes from verbal to nonverbal.

Pinto said this competition can be tough, and gets harder the further students go.

“For the challenges, you have to understand how they work and you have to be able to work as a team,” Pinto said.

Creative Minds will join almost 40 other New Hampshire teams at the Global Finals.

DI competitions operate with three tiers. It first begins with a regional tournament, where team solutions are assessed and scored by a panel of appraisers, who range from educators and artists to engineers.

The solutions are scored in different areas, such as originality, workmanship, presentation and teamwork.

High-scoring teams advance to the state tournaments. Creative Minds received second place in both the regional and state competitions at the elementary school level for the Heads Up Improvisational competition.

As the team prepares for the Global Finals, they also are working to raise funds for their trip, and have set up their own GoFundMe page.

Funds will help pay the team registration fee, travel, accommodations, props and other challenge expenses.

To support the team, visit https://bit.ly/2uFUOHd.