Gearing up for Global Finals

Courtesy photo Members of the Brainiac Bears who will compete in Tennessee later this month are: Mashood Khatri, Owen Dowell, Alexandra Mills, Alexandra Gunning, Emma Lai and Jimena Jimenez Rodriguez. Not pictured are team managers Megan Mills and Jen Dowell.


Earhart Elementary students need help with travel costs

Six Amelia Earhart Elementary students have advanced to the 2017 Destination Imagination (DI) Global Finals competition in Knoxville, Tenn., scheduled for May 24 through 27. 

DI is the largest creative-thinking and problem-solving competition in the world. It develops opportunities that inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. DI encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks and work collaboratively on challenges while incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), the arts and service learning.

Earhart students are on a roll. In the past three years, they have sent several teams to the Globals — a huge accomplishment for these fourth- and fifth-graders. This year, the team advancing is the Brainiac Bears, who are also the first Earhart team to take the DaVinci Award, designed “to honor those individuals and teams who most clearly demonstrate that spirit of adventurous risk in their solutions; those who most creatively traveled to reach truly new and unique destinations.” 

Each Earhart DI team is managed by committed parent volunteers who serve as advisors and provide training and coaching to the students throughout the DI experience. 

DI’s team challenge program is at the heart of the competition. After months spent working on their projects, students compete in a regional tournament. Top-scoring teams then advance to state. The top level of the tournament is DI’s Global Finals, which culminates each DI season. In May, more than 1,400 teams will gather from 15 countries to compete and showcase their team challenge solutions.

“The solutions aren’t easy, they take a lot of hard work and we had to design sets and props, too, but DI has been a wonderful learning experience,” said Alexandra Gunning. “We’ve learned how to build sturdy structures, how to deal with a budget, work with a schedule, in a time crunch and how to work as a team.”

The Brainiac Bears need to raise $20,000 to participate in the  Global Finals. To date, they have received $10,000 in contributions.  The students are asking for the community’s help to enable them to reach their fundraising goal. All donations are tax deductible and can be made at the DI team’s GoFundMe page: