Students Need Help to Compete in DI


What’s the result when five high-achieving and highly motivated kids are mixed with some project-management, improvisation and a dash of theatrics and placed in an international contest testing teamwork, innovation, and sagacity? 

The answer will be revealed when a group of Alameda middle school students calling themselves “Revenge of Luke Jaywalker” (RLJ) participate in the international competition Destination Imagination Global Finals (DI) in Knoxville, Tenn., from May 24 to 27. 

Team members include Geoffrey Dubay, Jenna Elaidy, Cooper Gunning, Liam Hofmann from Lincoln Middle School and Maggie Konecky from Academy of Alameda.

After achieving honors for creativity, teamwork and innovation in a regional tournament and winning first place in “Show and Tech” at the state academic tournament, RLJ earned the privilege to compete in the world’s largest celebration of student creativity. This four-day tournament will host more than 8,000 students comprising 1,400 teams from 45 U.S. states and 15 countries.

DI encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks and work collaboratively on challenges while incorporating skills from the disciplines science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the arts and service learning.

This year, RLJ developed a complex eight-minute, two-act play that demonstrated the students’ proficiency creating and using technology. They teamed up to develop all elements of  the story. 

RLJ wrote an original story with dialogue between characters and a song. They created costumes, as well as a stage with all the props. 

Team members also integrated a feat of engineering into their performance, coming up with a pulley system to suspend one of the characters in thin air, 

“Imagine being handed five straws, three square-inches of tinfoil, and four toothpicks, and then being told to build something in five minutes that reaches 10 inches high and remains stable for 30 seconds,” said team co-manager Lori Dubay. “That’s the kind of challenges these kids faced. They really had to think on their feet and work together on some very complicated tasks.”

RLJ needs to raise $10,000 to participate in DI, and the students are asking for the community’s help to enable them to reach their fundraising goal. If interested in making a financial contribution to support this team, contact John Hofmann at

Direct, tax-deductible contributions can be made at Be sure to use the dropdown menu to select RLJ team 105-55001 so that the funds go to the correct team.