It all started back in December, when six 4th grade students from Discovery Elementary School formed a team to compete at the 2008 Destination ImagiNation Regional Tournament in Bellevue.
Thus began a journey that required dedication of weekends designing and constructing for the challenge placed before them: to build an obstacle course with certain specifications, write a play to coincide with their obstacle course, make costumes, and design/modify a radio-controlled vehicle.
On March 1, the 4th grade Discovery team, calling themselves “The Zoo,” (based on the theme of their obstacle course), descended upon Interlake High School, along with 58 other teams across the Puget Sound Region to compete in various scientific and artistic categories. Four Discovery teams placed, and two of those were selected to move on to the state tournament. Months of practice and hard work had paid off as “The Zoo” team, and one other Discovery team, were selected to go to Wenatchee.
The March 29 state competition was even more difficult, but “The Zoo” team brought home third place.
A non-profit organization, Destination ImagiNation (www.idodi.com) sponsors competitions nation-wide, promoting students of all ages to exercise their creativity, problem-solving and teamwork skills. Each annual competition involves regional, state, and global tournaments, with challenges that differ every year. Students not only demonstrate long-term problem solving through their main challenge, but are also required to tackle the “Instant Challenge” on the day of the completion, thus testing their on-the-spot thinking and quick responses.
“The Zoo” members are: Courtney Crocker, Whitney Darnell, Vikram Ghangurde, Christopher Heitkamp, Ruby Outwater, and Ashley Tsai and lead by adult team captain Robert Heitkamp, who spent countless hours supervising and cheering on his team.