13 local teams advance to Destination Imagination Global Finals

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Local school districts have the opportunity to send 13 teams to Destination Imagination Global Finals later this month.

After great performances at the Minnesota State Affiliate Tournament, held once again at Jackson Middle School in Champlin April 22, 12 Anoka-Hennepin teams and one Spring Lake Park team were given the opportunity to advance to Global Finals May 24-27 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Rum River W.O.L.V.E.S. Destination Imagination team is headed to Global Finals for the first time. (Photo submitted)

Over 8,000 students from around the world are expected to attend the competition, billed as “the world’s largest celebration of creativity,” according to the Destination Imagination Global Finals website.

“Anoka-Hennepin teams are very strong in the engineering challenge, and for the third year, (the district has) advancing teams at all three levels,” according to Lynn Montgomery, Minnesota’s North Metro Destination Imagination director.

Five Anoka-Hennepin teams will advance in the engineering challenge, In It Together: The 5 FooDInis from Johnsville Elementary School in Blaine, The 7 World Wonders from Madison Elementary School in Blaine, Ellgremelgracoo from Anoka Middle School for the Arts, Wasaup from Jackson Middle School and French Fried from Blaine High School.

The engineering challenge guides students to build lightweight structures that support heavy loads.

Heading to Global Finals is a first for The 5 FooDInis, who took first for elementary schools in the engineering challenge. The team created a play about an international thief who is busted by Queen Elizabeth, her body guard and a famous Russian painter. At state, the team’s structures weighed 16.4 grams and held 185 pounds, according to coach Pam Taylor.

Four teams will advance in the fine arts challenge, Vanished! This year’s challenge was all about colors. Students had to research colors and present an original story about the disappearance of a color with the technical feat of a vanishing act.

Three Anoka-Hennepin teams – Crazy Creative Kids from Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy in Champlin; 20,000 Leagues Above Redonkulous from Roosevelt Middle School in Blaine; and One, Two, Three … Action! from Blaine High School – and The Jelly Bean Players from Spring Lake Park Schools’ Lighthouse School qualified to compete at the global level.

The Jelly Bean Players earned a bid to Global Finals for the third year in a row after coming in second for middle schools at state; 20,000 Leagues Above Redonkulous finished first for middle schools.

The Jelly Bean Players from Spring Lake Park’s Lighthouse School will advance to Global Finals for the third year in a row. They are the only team from Spring Lake Park Schools that has ever advanced to the global competition, according to manager Amy Karger. (Photo submitted)

The Jelly Bean Players’ story presented a world in which the color brown disappeared after a brown moth was bullied by two colorful butterflies. Coffee turned gray, and brunettes aged quickly. More consequentially, crime rates and unemployment rates skyrocketed because “brown promotes responsibility and stability by influencing the subconscious.” Plus, without melanin in their eyes, previously brown-eyed animals became extremely sensitive to light and vulnerable to predators, altering the entire ecosystem.

W.O.L.V.E.S. from Rum River Elementary School in Andover and QuiZzical BlackMailErS from Andover High School will advance in the technical challenge, Show & Tech.

This year’s technical challenge required students to build a stage that moves a team member from one place to another. Two acts – an opening act and headlining act – had to be incorporated in the performance.

Both teams will head to Global Finals for the first time.

W.O.L.V.E.S. manager Becky Hagestuen said Destination Imagination has helped students learn about the creative process while also learning about commitment, time management and other soft skills.

The Four Fantastic Onions from Anoka Middle School for the Arts took first place in the scientific challenge, and Lazer Beamz from Monroe Elementary School in Brooklyn Park came away with first place in the improvisational challenge. Both teams earned a bid to Global Finals.

This year’s scientific challenge, Top Secret, mandated teams present a story about a secret mission. To do that, teams had to study up on cryptography and stenography so that they could use those methods to reveal secret messages during their performances. They also had to create a gadget that masquerades as a common item and dream up a character that would appear in their story in disguise.

The Lazer Beamz participated in the 3-Peat challenge, developing three skits in three distinct genres including three different stock characters.

Contact Olivia Alveshere at [email protected]

Wasaup from Jackson Middle School will advance to Global Finals after the team’s performance in the engineering challenge, In It Together. (Photo submitted) Johnsville Elementary School’s The 5 FooDInis is headed to Global Finals to compete in the engineering challenge. Students wrote a play about an international thief that targets and steals precious items from other countries. Queen Elizabeth, her body guard Beth and a famous Russian painter solve the crimes and return the items. During the play, the team tests a structure they built to see how much weight it can hold. (Photo submitted) 
Roosevelt Middle School’s Destination Imagination team, 20,000 Leagues Above Redonkulous, took first for middle schools in the fine arts challenge at the state competition April 22 and is off to Global Finals later this month. The team makes a color disappear using a team-created light box with clear lights and colored tissue paper on dowels that are removed slowly to isolate colors. They have also created a knight’s armor and helmet with 2,000 pop tabs and a storybook with 7-foot panels. (Photo submitted)
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Roosevelt Middle School’s Destination Imagination team, 20,000 Leagues Above Redonkulous, took first for middle schools in the fine arts challenge at the state competition April 22 and is off to Global Finals later this month. The team makes a color disappear using a team-created light box with clear lights and colored tissue paper on dowels that are removed slowly to isolate colors. They have also created a knight’s armor and helmet with 2,000 pop tabs and a storybook with 7-foot panels. (Photo submitted)