DI Team Places 8th at Global Competition

Hilltop Elementary School's “Furious Five” placed 8th in the world at the DestiNation Imagination Global Finals during Memorial Day weekend at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. They also placed 3rd in the Instant Challenge portion of the competition. It's the first time a Beachwood team has placed in the top 10.

Beachwood’s team of five elementary students comprises Abbey Brewer, Olivia Adelman, Gaby Rodriguez, Robby Creed and Lily Steiger. They are the only team from a nine-county Northeast Ohio region that qualified for Destination Imagination’s Global Competition.

The 8th place finish was out of 44 teams in their elementary division and Challenge (Triple Take Road Show). The team qualified for the global competition by finishing first at the state tournament in April. They also placing first at the regional tournament held at Beachwood High School in March.

Destination ImagiNation (DI) is a non-profit organization that provides educational programs for students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Each year, more than 100,000 students in the US and in more than 30 countries participate. Student teams are asked to solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments.  Teams are tested to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the challenges.

Seven Beachwood teams of elementary and middle school students competed this year under the guidance and leadership of Shelly Lewis, a 5th grade teacher at Hilltop.  All teams met at least once a week throughout the school year to select and solve their central challenge, and to do “instant challenges,” in which they are given a problem and have 5 minutes to solve it.

The central challenge selected by Beachwood's "Furious Five" was called “Triple Take Road Show.” For this challenge, students were asked to pretend to be a traveling road show that performs in front of three different fictitious audiences. The challenge required them to use a different story telling style for each audience, to depict their travel methods to get between the audiences, and to incorporate a “technical spectacle” that uses some element of science.

The “Furious Five” worked very hard throughout the year to come up with their solution, and decided to put a heavy emphasis on word-play, creative writing, and out-of-the box thinking as they came up with their solution. Their solution depicted a traveling cooking show whose goal was to help their audiences eat healthier. Through the use of dry ice and dish soap, they were able to create a fantastic technical spectacle to mimic a pot of water boiling over. All set pieces were constructed, designed, and decorated completely by the students.

The students departed for the competition on May 24 from an all-school send-off assembly, during which Beachwood Mayor Merle S. Gorden presented the team with an official proclamation.

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