Four county teams headed to Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion Glob­als com­pe­ti­tion in May



— Pi­rate ships, a me­dieval king­dom, 1950s gang­sters and the world fair are some of the peo­ple and places Ce­cil County Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion stu­dents have cre­ated on stage in the last few months.

Now four Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion teams from Ce­cil County schools will be tak­ing their cre­ations to an even big­ger stage: the global DI fi­nals in Knoxville, Tenn.

Teams from Holly Hall El­e­men­tary School, Per­ryville Mid­dle School, Bo­hemia Manor High School and The Tome School all placed high enough at the state tour­na­ment ear­lier this month to qual­ify for the global com­pe­ti­tion on May 25.

Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion is the world’s largest cre­ative prob­lem solv­ing pro­gram for kinder­garten­ers through col­lege stu­dents, with teams in all 50 states and more than 40 coun­tries. Teams of up to seven stu­dents com­pete against each other in chal­lenges that are a mix­ture of per­for­mance, engi­neer­ing, prob­lem solv­ing and cre­ative think­ing.

With the global com­pe­ti­tion now about a month away, all four county teams are prac­tic­ing their per­for­mances and work­ing to raise the thou­sands of dol­lars needed to fund their trips.

“Go­ing to glob­als is more than just a lit­tle trip away from school,” said Ellen Wil­liams, a par­ent who coaches the Bo Manor team. “There’s teams there from all over the world. It’s a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The four county teams made it to glob­als af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the “Get A Clue” chal­lenge at the state level. Of the 12 Mary­land teams that will com­pete in that chal­lenge in Knoxville, a third are from Ce­cil County, in­clud­ing both the first and sec­ond place teams in the el­e­men­tary school divi­sion.

In this chal­lenge, the teams have to cre­ate a mys­tery play in­clud­ing writ­ing their own script and cre­at­ing their own props, cos­tumes and set. The play must be set be­fore 1990, iden­tify three sus­pects and then re­veal the cul­prit live on


stage. For the live re­veal, the stu­dents open an en­ve­lope mid­way through the play to learn who the cul­prit is and thus must have three al­ter­nate end­ings pre­pared.

Though the chal­lenge re­quire­ments are dif­fer­ent ev­ery year, all four teams have pre­vi­ous suc­cess go­ing to glob­als. Scott Del­losso, a lan­guage arts teacher at PVMS, runs both the mid­dle and high school Per­ryville teams and has had at least one team qual­ify for glob­als each of the past seven years.

This year’s group of two sixth-graders, one sev­en­th­grader and four eighth­graders was cho­sen from the nearly 50 kids who tried out at the be­gin­ning of the school year. The PVMS stu­dents, who call them­selves the Per­ryville Moist Floppy Pun­cakes, chose to do a gang­ster play set in 1959. The play re­volves around a man who steals cheese, which he mis­takes for gold, only to have the cheese stolen from him, Del­losso said.

“They’re very cre­ative and very fun,” Del­losso said of his team. “Their whole skit is lit­tered with puns, which is why they’re called the ‘pun­cakes.’”

The Bo Manor high school team has a sim­i­lar his­tory of suc­cess. Three of the group’s team mem­bers have been do­ing DI to­gether since fourth grade and have been to glob­als twice. For this year’s play, the team de­cided to set the ac­tion in 1893 on a train bound for the World Fair in Chicago. Af­ter the con­duc­tor on the train is mur­dered, one of the sci­en­tists on the train uses her in­ven­tion to help catch the killer, Wil­liams said.

The team’s ex­pe­ri­ence is one of its big­gest as­sets, and over the years, the group has be­come very good at un­der­stand­ing how to ap­proach the type of open-ended prob­lems DI presents, Wil­liams said.

“They’ve re­ally learned how to make some­thing out of noth­ing,” she said.

Though the stu­dents from Holly Hall has less over­all ex­pe­ri­ence in DI, they’ve also learned a bit about mak­ing some­thing out of noth­ing. Be­cause DI re­quires the teams to make their own sets and cos­tumes, many of the Holly Hall stu­dents learned how to use tools such as a hot glue gun and a jig­saw for the first time this year.

Holly Hall’s skit is set in a me­dieval king­dom and cen­ters around the mys­tery of who has stolen a pre­cious paint­ing from the queen.

Like their el­e­men­tary school coun­ter­parts, the group of fourth-graders at the Tome School also ini­tially de­cided on a me­dieval set­ting for their play. But af­ter a Google search for me­dieval cos­tumes also turned up pi­rate cos­tumes, the stu­dents im­me­di­ately switched fo­cus and de­cided to do a pi­rate theme in­stead, said Krista Moretz, a par­ent and the team’s coach.

The team even­tu­ally de­cided to set the play in 1650, dur­ing the golden age of pi­rates, and the story re­volves around the search for the pi­rate cap­tain’s lucky teddy, which has mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­peared, Moretz said.

Moretz has been coach­ing many of the stu­dents on her team for a few years now and said it’s been great to see how their cre­ative prob­lem-solv­ing skills grow over time.

“Th­ese are skills they are go­ing to need in school and in life,” she said.


The Per­ryville Mid­dle School Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion team, which con­sists of Evan Miller, Lo­gan Sawa, An­drew Wen­ner­sten, Mikey Ol­szewski, Ab­bie James, So­phie Schoen­feld and Josie Scram­lin, is head­ing to the DI glob­als fi­nal.


The Bo­hemia Manor High School Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion team, which con­sists of Cle­ora Dolde, Erica Le­men, Grace Wil­liams, Cas­san­dra Lane, Kelly Lit­tle, An­drea Tokash and Cleo Schau­mann (not pictured), is head­ing to the global fi­nals in Knoxville next month.

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