DI Team Advances to State Competition

Clare Ravizza, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

NDA’s DI team, Mr. Newman and the Urns (or Camp MNTU), took first place in their category at the regional competition.

The NDA team is made up of freshmen Alana Mencheski, Madeline Laaksonen, Anna Huntley, and Naira Martin Gil, sophomore Lily Schumacher and junior Jack Mickelson.

Another team, composed of sophomores, finished fourth in their challenge.

Destination Imagination, or DI, is a program that, according to the official Mission Statement, is a “hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning.”

Groups of students, from elementary all the way to college, compete in a Central Challenge, one of their choosing that has been rehearsed and they have prepared for, as well as an Instant Challenge of which they have no prior knowledge. Both their challenges are judged by a group of appraisers, and the two teams with the highest score from both challenges advance to State.

The challenges available range from Technical, Scientific, and Structural to Improvisational, Fine Arts, and Service/Outreach.

“We did Challenge B, which is the Structural Challenge,” said DI veteran Schumacher, who competed in middle school. “And what you have to do is build a structure that has the highest weight ratio possible and also combine it with a story, somehow incorporating music into your structure.”

Since the team came in first in their Challenge, they will be advancing to the State competition on April 16. It will be held at UW-Steven’s Point, and the teams that earn 1st and 2nd in each of the categories will move on to Globals.

“Our goal is, for sure, to go to Globals,” said Schumacher of the team’s aspirations. “It’s hard to think that any team would ever say, ‘Hey, we’re doing this just to get to State or just to perform at Regionals.’ I think it’s a goal for everyone to get to Globals because it is, from what I’ve heard, such a great experience.”

Schumacher said that Camp MNTU intends to keep practicing for State and “try to vamp up everything to be at another level.”

“I think it’s important that we take away that we did well overall [at Regionals] and our teamwork was really strong,” said Schumacher.