Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination
Posted on 04/25/2018
Destination ImaginationPlace yourself back in school… college, high school, middle school, or even grade school.  You join an after-school program called Destination Imagination (“DI”) that promises to teach you creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, and so much more.  You join and commit to working with a team of seven for as long as eight months!  First, you are faced with the decision of which problem to work on.  Your team decides on the technical one.  Your task is to design and build a maze traveler that will go in and out of one of sixteen mazes, pick up an object while within the maze and remove it, and have a prop transform while within the maze.  The catch is the team doesn’t know which maze until two minutes before competing.  One would think that is enough, but no, the team must also present two team elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.  All of this must be your own work, your own ideas, with NO help from anyone but your teammates and be presented within a seven-minute skit.  To conclude your team must also compete in an “Instant Challenge” that is presented to the team and must be solved on the spot in the allotted amount of time given.

At Badger High School a group of students has solved this problem at both the Regional and State level qualifying them to represent the state of Wisconsin at the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, this May 20-26, 2018.  Their solution wowed the judges with a self-correcting robot built by Olivia Starck, John Schiltz and Zach Cowan that used sensors, a calibrated compass, PID controller, Omni wheels and a self-coded Arduino board to maneuver a maze on its own while the High School Team: Kyia Huculak, Zach Cowan, Olivia Starck, Kayla Watke, John Schiltz, Dyllan McClintock and Jessica Stefaniak, all put their artistic and mechanical talents to work having made a 10 foot tall, heart beating, lung breathing, arm moving, Santa Claus, a walking red nosed reindeer and a musical sleigh equipped with a rolling heart monitor to the stage to tell the story of Santa’s trip to the hospital where the doctors and elves weave their way through Santa's maze of a body to reveal why Santa’s stomach is turning!  Santa’s belly ache may have had something to do with a table that mechanically dropped a fake gingerbread cookie onto their robot and exited the maze causing a spinning Christmas tree come to life.  This will be the 4th trip to the Global Finals held at the University of Tennessee Knoxville for the team known as the BottleCaps!  

This highly competitive global competition features the best and the brightest students from around the world.  In all, there will be teams from 45 states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 15 countries.  That’s over 1,000 teams competing at various levels! This is the largest problem-solving competition in the World!  As Tim Starck, one of the team managers said: "This STEM-based after school program is the best program any student could be in and not enough parents know about it." 

The Lake Geneva Destination Imagination program prepares our young adults for real-life challenges in college or technical college.

Destination Imagination
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