Several teams from two county school districts — Sulphur Springs and Cumby — were recently lauded for their achievements at the East Texas Region Destination ImagiNation Competition in Mesquite. Several teams were ranked in the top 10 in their competitions, two of those scoring high enough to advance to the state DI meet. Destination ImagiNation is a competition involving creativity, teamwork and problem solving experience for young people from kindergarten through college. Teams of up to seven participants may compete regionally with the goal of advancing to the global finals at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Teams work together to create their solutions to team challenges, which can have theatrical, structural, improvisational, scientific or technical focuses. Teams also learn and practice creative quick-thinking skills for the Instant Challenge portion of the program, according to the DI website: www.idodi.org.
The Feb. 28 regional event marked Cumby Elementary, Jr. High and High School teams’ first time to compete in the DI program. Four of the five Cumby teams competing placed in the top eight in their challenge category.
“We are so proud of all our students; they practiced so hard and represented our school so well. For a first-year team to take a place is a great honor. I could not ask for a better group of kids,” said Kathryn Killian, Cumby Elementary Warriors team manager.
Of the five teams competing from Sulphur Springs Middle School, two took first place honors which qualifies both the New Angle team and the ViDIo Lit Hits team to compete at the state DI contest April 3-4 in Houston.
The top ranked ViDIo Lit Hits team consisting of SSMS students Peyton Howard, Sarah Rost, Katie Barnett, Ashley Clegg, Rachel Mattison, Lexi McCaig and Emily Petty, and coach Kenya Singleton, received the prestigious DaVinci Award from the DI judges for their outstanding creativity.
Students competing in the ViDIo Lit Hits contest were required to create a music “ViDIo” dramatically retelling a piece of literature. The video had to integrate music, team-created lyrics and choreography, while dramatically portraying the literature character with a grand entrance or exit using technical methods. They also had to create two “side trips” which allow participants to present what they have learned while making the most of each team member’s abilities, skills, and interests.
The first ranked New Angle Team consisted of SSMS students Andrew Allen, Maci McIllwain, Dalton Rutherford, Felicia Thomas, Madison Ramirez, Jacob Rost and Carter White, and coaches Michelle Blackmon and Mike Smith.
Teams competing in “A New Angle” had to design, build and test a two-part structure made completely of wood and glue. They also had to create and present a story about the merging of two forms of art to create a new form of artistic expression, present a merged art form, and create two side trips and integrate them into the presentation.
The Warriors — the older elementary team consisting of Cumby Elementary students Brent Brewer, Preston Salinas, Jory Walker, Kelsey McDade, Tyler Jones and Landon Mabe, and team manager Kathryn Killian — placed third in the Private DI challenge. Landon Mabe also received one of the much sought after DaVinci Awards for outstanding creativity.
Also placing in Private DI was the SSMS team consisting of students Seth Harred, Shannon Lucas, Karl Sehnert, Hesston Humphrey, Sami Stoltenberg, Abby Tipps and McKenzie Hohenberger, and coach Lisa Wilks. They were ranked fourth overall.
Teams competing in the Private DI challenge had to create a 6-minute improvisational skit about the origin of a randomly-selected superstition in a 30-minute timed period at the tournament. The skit had to include the styles of three different film genres randomly selected from a list of film genres the team has previously researched. A “sleuth” was randomly selected from the list of historical and fictional detectives previously research, create and origin for the superstition, a detector that physically moves and contributes to solving the mystery of the superstition’s origin and include a randomly selected surprise.
The SSMS team solving the Instinct Messaging challenge and placing fourth included students Drew Forsman, Caroline Berning, Kinzi Irving, Reilly Hale, Jarred Cowley, Jesse Morrill and Reagan Elliott, and coach Shannon Forsman.
Cumby High School’s Instinct Messages team also earned a fourth place ranking in their division, quite an accomplishment for a first year team made up entirely of freshmen. Team members included CHS students Reece Walker, Levi Wooten, Madeleine Harred, Krystin Krodle and Courtney Salinas, mentor Marsha Fincher and team managers Carlyn Wooten and Don Madden.
Instinct Messaging teams had to create and present an original theatrical story demonstrating creature communication. To do this they had to learn about one featured creature and two real methods it uses to communicate, then design and build a costume to communicate a message sent by the featured creature. They also had to construct one or more three-dimensional set pieces depicting a real-life habitat for the featured creature. Two “side trips” also had to be integrate into the presentation.
The SSMS team competing in the Operation Cooperation challenge placed fifth. Team members include SSMS students Ryan Moore, Cole Mason, Hannah Mattison, Madeline Massey, Justin Mathews, Bryce Medelline and Andy Green, and coaches Christine Thomas and Chris Newman.
Operation Cooperation teams were required to design and construct two machines that travel and complete up to 12 tasks cooperatively, to create and present a story about cooperation set in another nation and include two side trips into the presentation. The teams were restricted from using plug-in AC power for any portion of their presentation.
The Cumby Junior High $tuna$ team made up of Megan Rucker, Gavin Walker, Kade Trentham and Austin Jarvis placed sixth place out of 14 teams competing.
The Ace of Spades team consisting of Cumby Jr. High students Taylor Gifford, Savannah Moore, Dustin Heer, Joseph Fischer and Kyle Barnett received eighth out of 14 competing.
The Cumby Elementary team consisting of Presley Clampitt, Alyssa Morgan, Sydney Spillers, Grace Bailey and Lauren Hudson are also noted for doing “a wonderful job” in the Instinct Messaging challenge.
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