‘Destination Procrastination’ Earns 2nd Place at the 25th Destination Imagination Global Finals

The eight-grade team Destination Procrastination earned second place and a Renaissance Award for their solution at the 2024 Destination Imagination Global Finals. Courtesy Image

Submitted by Bedford Destination Imagination

Four teams of Bedford students traveled to compete in the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City last week. One of those teams, Destination Procrastination, six eighth-grade JGMS students, earned a second-place finish on the international stage as well as a prestigious recognition.   

Destination Imagination (D.I.) is a competition series where students, ranging from elementary to university level, form teams and work together throughout an academic year to solve complex problems from science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) and present the solution theatrically at competitions. Highly ranked teams at the regional and affiliate levels can qualify for an invitation to represent their state or country affiliate at the global competition.

This year, the 25th Destination Imagination Global Finals tournament was held from May 22-25 in Kansas City, Missouri. Thousands of students in teams of two-to-seven kids from 15 countries and 35 states competed in the honored event. Some participating countries included the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Guatemala, the Cayman Islands, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Türkiye, Qatar, and Ukraine. 

Destination Procrastination participated in the Middle-Level Fine Arts Challenge. The team created a musical courtroom drama between “Mona Lisa” and “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” to solve the mystery of a stolen earring. They created hilarious song and dance parodies of “Money, Money, Money,” “Beat It,” and “Careless Whisper” that advanced the storyline with comedy galore. The team created props and costumes with meticulous details, engineering, and technical skills including a hydraulic arm on Renaissance period puppets.  

Destination Imagination is a STEAM team competition, where students work together throughout the school year to solve problems using research, science, arts, and engineering and present their solutions in a theatrical presentation without adult or other assistance. Courtesy Image of Destination Procrastination team performance

“This team had us laughing from start to finish,” said one of the Destination Imagination judges. “Their theatrical talent was evident in their reimagining of Da Vinci and Mona Lisa into a musical spectacle through their clever use of parody and thorough attention to detail.”

Destination Procrastination competed in the 2023 Global Finals and worked hard throughout the year to achieve their goal to return and earn a medal. Out of 650 teams competing at Global Finals, Destination Procrastination was one of 22 that were bestowed with a prestigious Renaissance Award honoring outstanding skill and the team’s “theater talent and attention to detail.”

The team members include Farah Semy, Joshua Wong, Nysha Dhiman, Ansel Chiou, Ridhi Yanala, and Veronica Decerbo, along with team manager Chialin Kao.

Three elementary-level teams competed in Global Finals for the first time.  

The Explorers are a third-grade engineering team. Courtesy Image

The Explorers, a third-grade team, competed in the Engineering Challenge where within their theatrical eight-minute time performance, teams had to build a mechanism that could be configured in two different ways to launch a bean bag. 

The Explorers started strong with four successful launches and a great story about two explorers saving their friends from an evil witch, but then they ran into a snag with their second configuration.

Team member Max Gong reported, “Our second configuration didn’t work. We tried different ways, but it was still unsuccessful.” 

Perseverance, growth, teamwork, and problem-solving are hallmarks of Destination Imagination and the Explorers tested what they learned throughout the year on the global stage, tweaking their device on the fly.

Gong said, “I felt good because I learned something valuable which is paying attention to details.” 

The Explorers team members included Ryan Hsu, Gong, Sara Salyankar, Jeffery Wu, Sahana Suresh, and Vritika Gandhi with team managers Guannan Gong and Siddharth Salyankar.

The Star Streakers are a fifth-grade engineering team. Courtesy Image

The fifth-grade Star Streakers also competed in the Engineering Challenge. This team of seven had the audience laughing with their story of two boys on their way to a jump rope contest. After a flying pig stole their jump rope, the boys got on the pig’s back and were taken for a ride. When they figured out how to land a flying pig, one character declared it was the best thing since “clean socks!” 

Team manager Anne Caron noted that the team had an amazing week and gave their best performance of the season at Global Finals. Caron said that “their teamwork was above and beyond,” and “I love watching them shine!”

Along with Anne Caron, the Star Streakers include team manger Kelly Korenak, and student members Sarina Younger, Nina Sonpal, Eli Pattaropong, Charlotte Feldman, Calvin Hall, Peter Caron, and Will Froehlich.

The Legendary Lions team members Aarushi Joshi, Anya Younger, Ben Chaplin, Bentley Zou, Violet Savoy, and team manager Leslie Savoy traveled to the 2024 Global Finals. Nathan Bullough, Julian Burgund, and team manager Kym Bullough competed with the team through the state competition, but were unable to attend the Global Finals. 

The Legendary Lions are a fourth-grade technical team. Courtesy Image

The Legendary Lions competed in the Technical Challenge that required teams to build a life-size pinball system where a ball interacts and moves through three team-built machines. The team worked hard to modify and reconfigure their solution and presentation for the Global’s stage. Leslie Savoy said that when it came time to present, the “kids really came together and it was amazing to watch the teamwork that occurred.” 

The fourth-grade Lane School students reported a great week exploring, meeting other kids, watching D.I. performances, and participating in the Global Finals traditions such as pin trading and creating duct tape costumes. Savoy reported, “They were proud of themselves.”

The Bedford students and team managers agree that the Global Finals experience is much more than presenting solutions the teams have worked on for eight months or winning a medal. Some team members reported the Opening Ceremony parade of nations and states was a favorite memory from the week.

Most agreed that the Global Finals tradition of trading pins was their favorite part of the trip.

Kids bring enamel pins representing their team, state affiliate, or country as a way of meeting team members from around the world and commemorating the event. Team members trade pins back and forth with each other around the convention center, hotel lobbies, and even on the sidewalks outside the event. 

Bedford Destination Imagination extends heartfelt gratitude to team managers, volunteers, parents/guardians and families, the Bedford community, Ultragenyx, Rotary Club, Ginger restaurant, Kiaan Shah, Suzanne and Company, Einstein’s Workshop, and Chestnut Dental for their generous donations and support.

Learn more about Bedford Destination Imagination at https://bedfordmadi.org/. Teams for the 2024-2025 season will form in the fall. 

To learn more about Bedford Destination Imagination, see https://bedfordmadi.org/. Courtesy Image
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