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Beachwood Shines at Destination Imagination Global Finals

Beachwood Shines at Destination Imagination Global Finals

Beachwood’s Destination Imagination teams brought their wildest ideas to life at the Global Finals in Kansas City, Missouri, held May 22-25. 

Advised by Shelly Lewis and Tara Warner, Beachwood’s young innovators competed among 600 teams. The Global Finals culminated a year of creative challenges in science, technology, engineering, arts, and community service. This year’s challenges ranged from designing a pinball system and investigating archaeological artifacts to creating kinetic art.

Teams also competed in Instant Challenges, where they were given a surprise task and had just five minutes to devise an original solution. "This often requires out-of-the-box thinking and teamwork," noted Mrs. Lewis.

Outstanding Performances

This year, Beachwood sent four teams to the Global Finals. Representing Hilltop were DI3 and the Hilltop Beanbaggers, while the two middle school teams, [Delete DI Pun Here] and OATS, impressed by placing in the top half of their level and challenge. “The competition was robust this year but our teams were competitive,” said Mrs. Warner.

DI3’s team members Julianna Chan, Joshua Hott, and Nam Nguyen achieved a remarkable fifth place in the world for Elementary Level Improv with their portrayal of a sad athlete in a kazoo contest. “We were so proud to see DI3’s fifth-place victory displayed on the big screen during the awards ceremony,” recalled Mrs. Warner.

In Elementary Level Engineering, the Hilltop Beanbaggers—Anna Chi, Ada Wu, Leah Wang, and Olivia Chen—ranked 37th in the world for designing a high-powered bean bag launcher.

For the Middle Level Fine Arts challenge, [Delete DI Pun Here] performed an original song inspired by the Terracotta Warriors sculptures from China. Team members Zohar Wolach, Sam Kuenzler, Nathan Mu, Sophia Wang, and Sarah Zhou secured 17th place in the world.

In the Middle Level Improv, the OATS team presented a laugh-out-loud skit about a glamorous hero whose bed had disappeared. Team members Tanishka Singh, Sophia Wang, Oscar Liang, and Athena Yu ranked 14th in the world.

Mrs. Lewis highlighted students’ growth over the past year. “Qualifying for the Global tournament provided our teams with a fantastic opportunity to refine and enhance their solutions,” she said. “I am incredibly proud of how they embraced this process of evaluation and improvement. These are skills they can apply in other aspects of their lives and shape the way they approach important tasks or projects in the future.”

About Destination Imagination

Beachwood's Destination Imagination program fosters creativity and teamwork in students from kindergarten through 12th grade. With typically 10-20 teams participating each year, many students find a lasting community within DI. “Many teams stay together throughout their Beachwood career,” said Mrs. Lewis.

Destination Imagination helps students build important life skills such as problem-solving, public speaking, research, and time management. By working on STEAM-based challenges, teams learn engineering design, structural analysis, and creative problem-solving. They create scenery and props and use different materials to construct towers and bridges, launch devices, retrieval mechanisms, and boats. 

“We wholeheartedly believe in this program because it promotes student-centered learning,” said Mrs. Lewis, who has been coordinating the program for over 20 years. “Many of our DI team members go on to attend prestigious universities. They often use their experiences in DI as the topic of their college application essays.”

To learn more about Destination Imagination, please contact Mrs. Warner at and Mrs. Lewis at


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