School News

Student Problem Solvers Especially Creative at State DestiNation ImagiNation Tournament

Maharishi School’s DestiNation ImagiNation teams were hugely successful at the state creative problem-solving tournament in Ames on Saturday April 14. Six of the eight teams received the highest points and qualified for the international competition which will take place at the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus May 23-26.

The high school level girls’ team was honored with a special “Renaissance Award” for “outstanding skill in the areas of design, engineering, execution or performance.” The last time appraisers bestowed a Renaissance Award was in 2010 - to the same team. Two members of that team, Avery Travis and Leanna Miller were recognized for designing the Iowa state DI logo design for 2012: a shield emblazoned with the words “IOWA: Legendary Creativity” and decorated with mythical beasts.

In Iowa the competition is sponsored by Students for a Creative Iowa, a volunteer-run affiliate of DestiNation ImagiNation (DI). According to their website, Students for a Creative Iowa provides “a safe and culturally rich environment that promotes creative problem-solving and team-building skills by encouraging students to build on their natural strengths and discover skills they may not realize they possess.”

At the competition teams of 2-7 students present student-generated solutions (there can be no adult involvement) to both a long-term challenge which they have worked on for 8-12 weeks, and an “instant challenge.” The challenges are scored separately and the teams with the highest combined score progress to DI Global Finals where they compete and celebrate with over 1000 teams from all over the world.

Mark Wilkins is the coordinator for the DI program at Maharishi School. He says over the course of the program the students grow so much, developing a sense of self-reliance, ingenuity, and strong team-building skills.

Winning first place in the scientific challenge at the high school level was a team called “Hypothetically We have a Giant Mushroom.” Team members are Avery Travis, Leanna Miller, Hifza Akbar, Dia Huggins, Kadie Roberts, Alina Knight, and Jaqueline Leete. The team is managed by Nita Travis. Their solution combined solar-power, stage lighting, an “infinity-mirror” and a presentation about new uses for solar-energy. This team was also honored with a special “Renaissance Award” for “outstanding skill in the areas of design, engineering, execution or performance.” The last time appraisers bestowed a Renaissance Award was in 2010 - to the same team. Two members of that team, Avery Travis and Leanna Miller were recognized for designing the Iowa state DI logo design for 2012: a shield emblazoned with the words “IOWA: Legendary Creativity” and decorated with mythical beasts.

The high school team, “Seductive Reasoning” was one point away from first place in improvisational challenge and qualified for the international competition. Their improvisational solution involved current news stories. Members of the team are Demitri Makeig, Vinit Sugunar, David Wadsworth, Nathaniel Zhu, Tomas Bousquet, Michael Corazza, and Toby James. The team is managed by Diana Makeig.

Taking first place at the elementary level of the scientific challenge was “The Killa Zombie Cows”. Members are: Bodhi Boucherle, Will Sheppard, Sean Boyne, and Benji Boucherle. The team is managed by Noelle Boucherele.

The middle level improvisational team “Chimmy Chonga Chocolate Chips” placed first in their “instant challenge” and 4th in their category. Team members are Bella Unger, Hermela Gerbermariam, Fernanda Giron, Cecilia Faircrest, Beatrice Winn, Kai-li Diyaljee, and Loreena Hansen. The team manager is Mark Wilkins.

Winning first place in the technical challenge at the middle school level was a team called “You Gonna Eat That?” Team members are Giovanni Cingire, Jordan Town, Avaram Diyaljee, Gabe Sperry, Marcus Schoenfeld, Caleb Mulleneaux, and Doga Ozesmi. The team managers are Matt Mullenneaux and Jeff Towne. The team had to creatively design and build equipment that retrieves parts and delivers products and integrate the equipment into a story.

First place in the structural challenge went to “Don’t put Dapt in your Nachos.” Team members are Dante Cingire, Daniel Zhu, Phillip Winer, Andrew Wilson, and Drew Schoenfeld. The team is managed by Donna Cingire, and Rachel Wilson. Using balsa wood and glue, the team designed and built a weight-bearing structure and golf-ball delivery system.

First place in the acting challenge, at the middle level, was given to “The Team that Survived 2012”. Team members are Phoebe Haerr, Alista Winkle, Amanda Valentine, and Anna Unger. The team manager is Sarah Rose Belok. This challenge includes the creation of a movie trailer including special effects and a sound track.

The elementary level acting team, “Duck Tape Ducklings,” placed first in “instant challenge” and 4th place in their category. Team members are Lucianna Miller, Chase Winer, Calista Rowe, and Paloma Braun. The team is managed by AnaVictoria Braun. 

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