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Students Compete in Unusual Contest

The Lightning Dragons, from left, Luc Durand, Grant Richardson, Francisco Godoy, Amy You and Remington Cord.

The Lightning Dragons, from left, Luc Durand, Grant Richardson, Francisco Godoy, Amy You and Remington Cord.

Members of a Thurston Middle School club participated in the Destination Imagination Challenge tournament at El Cajon’s Granite Hills High, an example of learning that includes a focus on critical thinking and communication, Principal Jenny Salberg said.

The contest is sponsored by a non-profit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip children to become leaders and innovators.

Student teams work independently to create a solution to their challenge, which they present at the tournament. Each year, DI offers challenges in six categories: technical, fine arts, scientific, improvisational, structural, and service learning.

Avila’s Army, from left, Trevor Richardson and Sebastian Fernandez, and seated, Kenneth Chu and Kaitlin Ryan.

Avila’s Army, from left, Trevor Richardson and Sebastian Fernandez, and seated, Kenneth Chu and Kaitlin Ryan.

Thurston’s Destination Imagination Club students were divided into four teams and began their work last September.

The Avila’s Army Scientific Team’s eight-minute “Going to Extremes” challenge was to research an extreme environment and present a story that illustrated the need to adapt in this environment.

The two improvisational teams, the Burrito Racers and the Royal Kiwis, participated in a “Pandemonium!” challenge, which included preparing a short skit that incorporated three improvisation elements.

The Lightning Dragons’ structural team’s challenge was to build a structure made entirely from glue, wood and/or monofilament fishing line and test the structure’s strength under stress from two sources. The Lightning Dragons’ team advanced to the state tournament that was held at the end of March.

Club co-advisors and science teachers Bjorn Avila and Ina Inouye Wu introduced the program as a means for students to create solutions through teamwork and creativity.

They expressed their appreciation to Thurston’s PTA for sponsoring the event, Hurley for providing t-shirts and for the many parent volunteers.

 

 

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