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Home News-Telegram News Two SSMS teams qualify for DI global finals this month

Two SSMS teams qualify for DI global finals this month

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Two teams from Sulphur Springs Middle School have qualified to compete later this month in the Global Destination ImagiNation Finals in Tennessee. They were among five local teams who placed at the March 3 regional DI contest, which included 243 teams from across Northeast Texas.

“We have had a great year in academic competition. The middle school won the district championship, and we have two SSMS teams advancing to the global finals in Knoxville,” said Johnny Wells, a longtime SSMS team manager and local DI coordinator, who was also selected to serve on the global Destination ImagiNation board.

After the regional competition, two teams advanced to the state meet in Corpus Christi and earned a trip to globals at the University of Tennessee by placing in the top five at state.

The team consisting of students Gage Penson, Leif Thomas, Joshua Whitten-Edwards, Kade Brown, Nathan Frye, Jesse Allen and Spencer Brewer and managers Chip Vaughn, Johnny Wells and Christine Thomas advanced to the state contest by earning first place honors in the Assembly Required challenge at the regional contest, held March 3 at Mequite Poteet High School. At the April 14 state contest, the team went on to win fifth place. They also were awarded the coveted Da Vinci Award for outstanding creativity for the “vehicle” the team built and designed.

Assembly Required is a technical challenge requiring students to design and build equipment that retrieves parts and delivers products. They then had to assemble products from team-provided parts to fill orders and use the products in the team’s presentation. They could earn extra points by deciding how to best fill orders with no part or products left over in the assembly area. They also had to present a team-created story about “something that happens just fine.”The Hold It! team also advanced from the state competition by qualifying for globals. The team placed second at the regional meet and fourth at state. The team conisted of students Gillian Thomas, Abbey Martin, Tanner Ramirez, Dakotah Stalcup, Brody Blackmon, Carson McIllwain and Dane Rutherford, and team managers Michelle Blackmon and Mike Smith.

“Hold it!” is a structural challenge. Students are required to design, build and test a structure made entirely out of wood and glue which will hold weight and tournament-provided golf balls. Contestants also had to design and build a delivery device that will deposit the golf balls, one at a time into the structure; then create and present an original story about a “captivator,” which includes the weight placement and golf ball delivery in the story.

The April 14 state contest featured the 350 top teams from across Texas. The Destination ImagiNation teams that advance past regional and state/country tournaments are invited to participate May 23-26 in Knoxville, Tenn., in Global Finals, an annual celebration where fun, creativity, and the talent of the world’s future leaders is always on display.

Global Finals is the culminating event of every Destination ImagiNation season. Each year, hundreds of teams gather at global finals to showcase their challenge solutions.

SSMS also had three other teams recognized for their achievement at the regional meet.

The Solar Stage team consisting of students Chase Charlton, Allie Avery, Natalee Foster, Natalie Cruz, Hannah Dixon, Celeste Leeds-Laliberte, Makenna Kager and team managers Audra Latimer and Jodie Leeds also came in second at region.

The Solar Stage is a scientific challenge requiring students to create and present a theatrical performance that tells a story about the use of solar energy, including past and/or current uses of solar energy. They also had to design and create a solar energy prototype that demonstrates the new way to collect, captivate and use solar energy; and design and provide a theatrical lighting to illuminate the presentation; and create special theatrical effects.

The News to Me team, which placed third at the regional meet, included students Mandy Eckhardt, Emily Johnson, Jamia Hall, Madison Jackson, Dylan Joiner, Hannah Smith and Anden Hammack, and team manager Johnny Wells.

The News to Me improvisational challenge requires students to first learn different types of news stories, and cause-and-effect relationships. They then had to create a 5-minute improvisational skit about cause-and-effect relationships between two unrelated news stories, using cooperative human scenery and props as enhancement. Finally, they are told “all your plans suddenly become totally discombobulated by a one-minute glitch (OMG)!”

Kendall Wallace, Sidney Dietze, Riley Bridges, Makayla Frye, Logan McGraw, Kye Johnson and Owen Lee made up the Coming Attractions team which placed fourth at the regional meet. Kenya Singleton served as team manager.

Coming Attractions is a fine arts challenge requiring students to present a movie trailer involving characters from at least two nations, and including a cinematic special effect design feature. The challenge also stipulates contestants must create an original soundtrack that complements the movie trailer.




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