Students think outside the box

Michelle Daniek, Staff Reporter

Destination Imagination is a program that runs from elementary through college levels, dedicated to promoting critical problem-solving skills and encouraging kids to step outside the box. Faced with an array of challenges, from technical tests of science to the visionary fine arts, students have to put their heads together to find solutions to complex problems. This year, the Destination Imagination (D.I.) team placed third in the district with their “Change In RealiTee” sketch.
“[D.I.] is basically just a lot of random challenges, improvisation, and a little bit of everything,” freshman Chris Perrios said. “[The meetings consist of] things like building and improvising sketches.”
Freshman Kayla Land, who has participated in D.I. before and is no beginner to the many challenges, enjoys the club.
“It has a lot to do with creativity and imagination,” Land said. “I’ve really enjoyed it in the past, so I chose to do it again. [Meetings] are usually a little bit wild because of all the improv we do, but it’s a lot of fun.”
At the beginning of each season, teams, usually consisting of seven people, choose a challenge from a national list to showcase their skills at local competition. D.I. practice sessions were held on Mondays and became more frequent as the competition date neared. This year, the competition was on March 9 at Winchester’s John Handley High School. Although the team did not make it to states, history and psychology teacher Lou Ann Spear, who serves as the co-team manager, is satisfied with the results.
“The kids did really well,” Spear said. “The audience really enjoyed their skit, and I thought it was one of the funniest ones there.”
Spear works alongside Librarian Becca Isaac to help prepare students for the competition.
“[Students] engage in the main challenge and then the instant challenges, which involve getting materials like mailing labels and string and participating in challenges using them,” Spear said. “They always have a building challenge, where you build something, and they usually have an improv one. Sometimes the challenges are more theatrical.”
Although the majority of the teams compete at the elementary and middle school levels, high school and college levels play a significant role. Senior Adam Warren says that besides being educational and fun, D.I. is also a convenient activity to add to a resume.
“It’s really fun because it’s something to do during the week, and it’s something I can find time to do in my busy schedule,” Warren said. “It’s really easy to get into; you don’t have to have any prior experience.”
Isaac says that besides the educational aspect, D.I. offers creative students an outlet and chance to get involved. Spear agrees that the benefits are well worth the time.
“It’s a great way to meet people; it’s always a lot of fun,” Spear said. “It’s a way to stretch your brain to new things and be more creative.”