The Stow Independent... Online                                                          March 23, 2011
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Stow Destination Imagination Destination Imagination
5 teams win Regionals and qualify for the State Championships at WPI

Contributed by Alexander Enzmann – Town Coordinator, Friends of Stow DI


  Stow DI had a remarkable sweep at the regional championships.  Every competitive team that entered won their challenge.  There were a total of six teams with five competitive (3rd to 8th grades) and one Rising Stars (K-2nd).  The championship was held on Saturday, March 12th, at the Ayer Public Schools.   
   Our youngest team, in the Rising Stars category, was coached by Anna Galea with team members James Chetwynd, Allyssa Deluca, Jimmy Draudt, Markis Galea, Karis Galea, Davita Honig, Christopher Petter, and Robin Warner.  They created a play that told  about “Big Bug’s bad day”.  Their props included a large painted backdrop and a gigantic dinosaur head with a working mouth.
   The technical challenge, “Unidentified Moving Object”, this year involved designing and building equipment to move various materials to and from towering heights.  The team was coached by Gordon Landis with team members: Julia Guiles, Gwen Landis, Brielle Parse, Jack O’Keefe, and Emmeline Weeks.  They gave a dynamic presentation involving glowing lights and a smoking dry ice concoction made of sushi, bubble gum, and pickles.  Their technical solution was flawless, using a device that started packed into a small container to then raise and lower items to and from a tower well above their heads.
   The Improvisational challenge, “Mythology Mission”, involved deep research before and quick thinking at the competition.  They presented a five-minute Improvisational Skit about a Mission involving a Mythical Creature .  The actual culture and creature (Han Chinese, Dragons) were chosen right before the team competed, with only five minutes for them to come up with a skit and five minutes to present it.  The team was given a few random items (walking stick, metal pot, and velcro) that had to be used in the skit.  The team was coached by Kathleen Rusilas with members: Sarah Chase, Gus Michaelsen, and Anna Moffat.
    “Spinning a Tale” was the Scientific challenge this year.  It was tackled by the team coached by Karen Wall with team members Kali Cook, Emily Fleming, Kristina MacLure, Robbie Plugarin, Mariana Sardella, and Hannah Stevenson.  They researched the life cycle of the Ocelot and performed a presentation in three acts that described energy cycles in the natural world.  They did this with innovative props such as: a four foot rubix-cube like hinged box that gave new information on each rotation of its parts;  a large and intricate backdrop with 3D effects and moving parts that showed the Ocelot in it’s habitat; and a moving robotic “End” sign to signal the end of the presentation.
   Two teams, one Elementary and one Middle level, took on the Fine Arts challenge.  This challenge, “Triple Take Road Show” required three different storytelling methods to tell the same story to three different pretend audiences.  The teams also had to integrate travel methods between the stories and present a “Technical Spectacle” during one of the stories.  The first team to compete was coached by Pat MacLure with team members Owen Clarke, Nate Draudt, Sophia Greszczuk, Jamie Lance, and Ashlyn MacLure.  The “Triple Bake Teammates” had a travelling cooking show theme using a sophisticated truck prop with moving panels and storage for individual props. The team presented information about each of their destinations on a rotating sign, and demonstrated a “technical spectacle” that involved the use of electrical circuits, weights and liquid to automatically turn on a light when the ingredients were mixed together.
   Later in the day was the performance of the team coached by Wendy Enzmann, with team members Magen Cook, Duncan Enzmann, Johanna Enzmann, Zach Honig, Kylie Lance, Elena Reverdy, and Colin Willoughby.  Their years of experience together showed as they presented a deep but well connected presentation about racism and tolerance.  Their presentation had hinged theatrical backdrops portraying the different storytelling environments, as well as a playground set with swing and slide.  Some of the extra details they incorporated included: presenting one story using sign language and interactive symbols; pantomiming mountain climbing and spelunking through caves; a choreographed dance; and an automatically rising platform with a depiction of the blending of colors.
  Special awards were given to two teams.  The Rennaisance award, “for those among us who demonstrate extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation in their solutions or outstanding skill in engineering, design or performance” was given to the Fine Arts team coached by Pat MacLure.  The Spirit of DI,“ for those members of our community who demonstrate outstanding and extraordinary levels of sportsmanship, volunteerism and spirit”, was given to the Fine Arts team coached by Wendy Enzmann.
   Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving program that has goals such as: Fostering creative and critical thinking;  learning and applying creative problem solving methods and tools, developing teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills.  You can find more information about the program at the Stow DI web site, www.stowdi.org, and at the Massachusetts DI web site, http://madikids.org/.