To succeed in Destination Imagination—a creative problem solving program— competitions, students have to excel at innovation, teamwork and critical thinking.
The Soul Seven Destination Imagination team at is showing it has these characteristics in spades.
The team, which consists of seven middle school students from the 100-student private school, will be participating in the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, TN next week.
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"It’s kind of amazing that this first year team ended up winning in our division for the states, because when we go to globals a lot of the teams have been together five or six years," said Linda Pietila, the team’s manager and mother of two team members.
The team will compete in the Fine Arts division of the competition and accepted the challenge of creating a “movie trailer” with the assistance of a shadow box, live drums and chanting. The trailer is for a movie the students invented called “The Disturbing Truth,” about the experience of Native American students at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School at the turn of the last century.
But the competition goes beyond just developing a creative presentation.
"[The students] need to come up with the idea. And once they come up with the idea—this is reason why this team has been so successful—is you have to look at the idea and go 'how can I take it apart and make it better'," Pietila said.
Tali Spiliadis, 14, said the teamwork and problem solving aspects are what she loves about competing in Destination Imagination. The Charles Village resident said the competition has sharpened her critical thinking skills.
"Since I’ve been in DI, any problem can be solved instantly. Right now I’m wearing a duct tape dress that I made using my own ideas. It really gives me this other perspective of the world,” Spiliadis said.
Sydney Sellinger, of Mount Washington, added that she enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team.
"You really have to think outside of the box to get stuff done. It’s just so much problem solving, teamwork and we got so much closer doing this,” said Sellinger, 14.