Northborough students showcase creativity in state tournament
Northborough – Two teams from Northborough advanced to the state finals in the Destination ImagiNation (DI) Tournament, a creative problem-solving competition for youth, at the regional tournament held March 22 and 23.
Marion E. Zeh School students Lauren Dennis, Sabrina Ferro, Sarah Cassidy and Shrutika Kumar won first place in the elementary school category. In addition, Robert E. Melican Middle School students Genevieve Cox, Tessa DesMarais, Naomi Drew, Taylor Murphy and Maya Sagarin, along with Advanced Math & Science Academy student Sanjana Murthy, tied for first place in the middle school category. Both teams advanced to the state finals March 29 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
With eight teams competing, Northborough DI was recognized for having the second highest number of teams competing in their region.
Each year, DI offers six new team challenges to choose from in the technical, scientific, fine arts, improvisational, structural and service learning categories and a non-competitive early learning challenge. The competition requires teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, time-management strategies and clear presentation skills. Teams meet weekly to work on their solutions from October to March.
The challenge the Zeh School girls selected was called “Laugh Art Loud.” The challenge entailed researching a work of art created by an artist born outside of the U.S. and
preparing to theatrically present a comic strip story that incorporated their research. They were also required to create an original work of art inspired by their chosen artist and to use technical design to build a caption contraption to use in their performance. Additionally, they created their own sets, backdrops, costumes, props and script. They also wrote a rap song about French artist Georges Seurat.
The middle school girls selected the service learning challenge entitled “Pitch & Play.” The challenge entailed using the creative process to identify and select at least one real community need. The girls then had to design and carry out a project that addressed the community need using play to meet the project goal. They were also required to enlist at least one community partner to assist with their service project. Additionally, the girls were required to create a live presentation that featured the project. The girls chose to deliver their project presentation in the form of a Broadway musical with an original musical score.
“We are so proud the girls chose the service challenge and learned what it takes to make a difference to the community,” said one of the team managers, Suzanne Cox. “The six girls started the year as six individuals, each with their own direction, and finished as one mind working to make a better world for native wildlife here in Massachusetts.”
At competition, both teams also had to complete an instant challenge, which is surprise challenge they have to solve on tournament day.
“The girls did an amazing job thinking on their feet to solve and present a team-based, creative solution in just six minutes,” elementary school team manager Bonnie Dennis said.
According to Dennis, while her team did not place in the top three in the finals, “they had a great time presenting their solutions at the state tournament.”
The middle school team finished in third place in the finals.
Destination ImagiNation, Inc., is a nonprofit organization offering a global, youth-centered, creative problem-solving program. For more information, visit www.madikids.org.
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