All Aboard for Destination Imagination 2019

Bedford Destination Imagination at the regional competition in Chelmsford – Courtesy image

By Linda White

Congratulations to the Bedford students who have clearly demonstrated they possess the requisite creativity, imagination, and drive to reach their destination and successfully represent Bedford in the 2019 Destination Imagination challenge tournaments.

Bedford’s 2019 Destination Imagination (DI) teams participated in their first showcase on Saturday, March 2 in the Lane School cafeteria.  Teams set up and presented to an audience of family members and friends adhering to the established DI guidelines and restraints for materials, space, time, and content and used the showcase as a dress rehearsal before facing their first official competition round. Click this link to see all the images from the Showcase at Lane School in the Bedford Snapshots album on Facebook

On Sunday, March 10 Bedford teams joined participating DI teams from Acton, Billerica, Burlington, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Groveland, Lexington, Millis, Newton, and Westford in Chelmsford for the DI Massachusetts Region 4 Tournament. A total of 12 teams, 72 students, represented Bedford. Six teams were DI veterans and six teams were new to the DI experience.

The Bedford teams included:

Skittleworms – Team Managers:  Jenn Cunningham and Jenny Stewart, 7th graders: Toby Favalora, Jane Stewart, Rachael Hsu, Evan Kelly, Ada Cooprider, and Hayden McAllister took 1st place in Medical Mystery/Middle School level and are advancing to states. The team members of the Skittleworms are DI veterans. This is the third consecutive year they have advanced to the state tournament level. In 2017, as fifth-grade students, they advanced to win third place at the DI Global competition in Knoxville, TN.
Uni-Llama Squad – Team Manager: Heather Cooprider, 6th graders: Alice Cooprider, B.C., Charlie Desjardins, Amelie Kelly, and Paige Rotchford placed 3rd in Escape Artist challenge.
Moostache Cows – Team Managers: Gayatri Yadavalli and Jenny Stewart, 5th graders: Sharanya Vaidianathan, Paul Stewart, Liliana Carman, Emory Carroll, Maggie Chessman, and Julia Muelhoefer were down one team member due to injury and still went on with the show!
Cotton Candy Squad – Team Managers: Kurt Shelton and Sarah Cutrona, 5th graders: Ciara Shelton, Abby Cutrona, Nadia Thacore, Evelyn Chiu, Sahana Krishan, Parker Ferguson, and Kate Collins took 1st place in Monster Effects challenge and are advancing to states.
TEJKMO – Team Manager: Holly Munsie, 5th graders: Tyler Munsie, Eliza Dickert, Jacob Lourotos, Kevin Visoka, Mina Belir, and Owen Walton took 1st place in Technical Challenge, On Target, and are advancing to states.
French Fry Fridays – Team Managers:  Jennifer Cunningham and Jennifer Hollman, 4th graders:  Gabe Favalora, Teddy Hollman, Amelia Bullard, Taylor Hallett, Jihoo Hong, and Nayan Karthikeyan took 2nd place in Monster Effects Challenge and won a special “Spirit of DI” award for Exceptional Teamwork, Spirit and Sportsmanship.
Chipmunk Galaxy Girls – Team Managers: Mark Silver and Shad Thacore, 4th graders: Teresa Silver, Madeline Frederick, Abby Bourret, Alana Thacore, Marcy Venuti, and Elizabeth Trant took 3rd place in Medical Mystery.
Ice Cream Warriors – Team Managers: Joe Titlow and Joe Bullard, 3rd graders: Abby Titlow, Jocelyn Bullard, Zivah Chessman, Avery Malenchini, and Hannah Malenchini.
Fantastic Phoenixes – Team Manager: Chailin Kao, 3rd graders: Veronica Decerbo, Jacob Neale, Quinn Cormie, Joshua Wong, Victoria Fernandes, and Mohita Chipeni.
Super Rainbow Champs – Team Managers: Amanda Carman and Sarah Cieplinski, 2nd graders: Brielle Carman, Blake Cieplinski, Kyle Ayres, Ella Dadah, Adam Silver, Georgia Brandt, and Darshan Vaidianathan.
Corn Bears – Team Managers: Vivian Chang and Jeremy Kaznocha, 2nd graders: Kaylee Silva-Chang, Adrian Kaznocha, Henry Gittins, Elizabeth Wang, Devin Sonpal, and Miles Rowan.
Minecraft Masters – Team Managers: Wes Kent and Amy Smith, “Rising Stars” a non-competitive division, 1st graders — Alexa Kent, Kiaan Shah, Jordan Marquis, Felicity Savoy, Ainsley Reid, and Rohan Heid.

Looking Ahead to State Competition in Worcester

The Skittleworms*, Cotton Candy Squad, and TEJKMO will be busy preparing for the State Tournament competition in Worcester at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, March 30 where they will face other 1st and 2nd place winning teams from eight regions across Massachusetts.

Bedford 2019 DI teams are under the leadership and guidance of Jennifer Cunningham, incoming Bedford DI president, who commented, “We are so pleased to be continuing the strong tradition of Destination Imagination Bedford because it is such a completely unique and important activity.  In DI, the kids are in charge! They make every decision from the beginning of the season up to the end including which challenge they are going to solve, what topics they want to research, what they want to build, which team members should play which roles in the presentation, etc. DI teaches creativity, resourcefulness, and problem-solving in an environment where kids get to have fun with their friends every week.

“Thanks to my two sons, our family has been involved in DI for seven years running now, and the process astonishes me every single time. These kids work together to explore common interests, figure out how to approach long-term, open-ended tasks, communicate and collaborate with those who have different styles and ideas, persevere through failed designs and setbacks, and within a few short months, they’ve created something amazing together. Ideas go from post-it notes in a brainstorm to prototype sketches to finished products that are 100% kid-designed and kid-executed. They create something from nothing, and they do it as a team. It’s a powerful learning experience for all of us.”

If you are interested in following the progress of the Bedford DI teams, visit and Like them on Facebook at “Bedford Destination Imagination” or visit the team home website  Families interested in receiving information regarding Destination Imagination 2020 programs and activities may complete the survey at

About Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination (DI) is a non-profit, volunteer-led, cause-driven organization with a stated purpose to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. Seven new standards-based Challenges in STEM, Improvisation, Visual Arts, Service Learning, and Early Learning are offered annually. Each Challenge is open-ended and enables student teams to learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation. Learn more about DI at

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