The Maple Grove Junior High Destination Imagination Team “Something Ironic” won first place at the West Metro Tournament for Middle Level Improvisational Category on Feb. 23. The “Something Ironic” team consists of: Damani Gupta, Emilia Biason, Ethan Donaldson, Abby Gust, Kyra Kjeldahl, Nika Khadem and Sam Irvin. The team is co-managed by Ryan Smolarek, Julie Donaldson and Krista Biason.
Destination Imagination (DI) is a global competition which teaches the creative process from imagination to innovation. The program encourages teams to have fun, take risks, focus while incorporating STEM, the arts and service learning.
DI has five basic Challenge categories. The challenge the MGJH kids complete in is Challenge D: Improvisational. The challenge category is the same each year, but the specific criteria of each challenge changes. This year the topic was “Change in Realitee.”
The MGJH team had to select and research six different communication techniques. They chose: CB Radio, Interpretive Dance, Song, Panel Discussion, Commercial and News Show. They also were required to bring in eight plain white t-shirts and 16 markers to use as their “props.” They had to use the t-shirts and the communication style to portray the effects of a “Change in Realitee.”
The process for their competition was that they were provided with the change and their communication technique and were given five minutes to create a skit with a beginning, middle and end that showed the change, used the shirts, and exemplified the technique while incorporating facts to show their research. After the five minutes they were provided with three nouns which they needed to create a slogan for their skit. They then had five minutes to present their skit to the judges and audience.
The MGJH team selected CB Radio style with the change of “There is no rope” and their slogan was “Don’t bail on me now, it’s really hot, and me and my passenger are stuck!”
In addition to their prepared category they also compete in an “Instant Challenge” which could be either a performance-based, task-based or a hybrid of the two. It requires the team to engage in quick and creative thinking. The team signs a confidentiality agreement that they cannot share what the challenge was with anyone since it is the same challenge for all of the competitions around the state. Once globals are completed they can share the information about the challenge. The instant challenge is 25 percent of their total score and their selected challenge is 75 percent of their total score.
This is the MGJH’s third year competing together for the core team of kids, with a few modifications along the way.
The MGJH team now heads to the State tournament at Champlin Park High School in Champlin Park on April 20. If they do well at that tournament the Global Finals are May 22-25 in Knoxville, Tenn.