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Varsity Destination Imagination · Destination Imagination: DIdeas Keep On Comin’ win Global Finals!


The DIdeas Keep On Comin team of Adamson Novak (MGSH), Erin Besser (MGSH), James Pipkin (OSH) and Jess Bray (MGSH) earned 1st place in the Secondary Level Fine Arts Challenge: Change of Tune at the Destination Imagination Global Finals competition in Knoxville, TN from May 23-27. Their team manager is Jody Kinneberg, a teacher at Maple Grove Middle School.  The DIdeas Keep On Comin’ team competed against 79 Affiliate Champion teams from around the world. As the culminating event of the Destination Imagination (DI) season, Global Finals provides student finalists the opportunity to showcase their top-scoring innovative solutions in the areas of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and service learning, at the world’s largest celebration of creativity.

The DIdeas Keep On Comin’ win at Global Finals followed their 1st place finish at the MN Affiliate (State) competition where they won 1st place and a Renaissance award for their complex set design, musical score and overall story. They also earned MN Distinguished Leader awards for their contribution to the MN State Destination Imagination program in the areas of leadership, volunteerism, and developing training materials. They wrote a series of Instant Challenges that are used in team training and hosted an Instant Challenge workshop mentoring several District 279 DI teams.

Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving challenge with the purpose to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.  Each year over 150,000 students representing 30 countries participate in the DI Challenge experience. After successfully advancing in Regional and State competitions, 1400 teams representing 15 countries compete at the world event Global Finals. “We are extremely excited to see the creativity, collaboration and hard work from some of the most brilliant young minds around the world,” said Michele Tuck-Ponder, Interim CEO of Destination Imagination, Inc. “These are tomorrow’s innovators and leaders, and thanks to our sponsors and partners, we’re able to give them an international platform where they can showcase their innovative Challenge solutions, expand their skill sets, and interact with students from different cultures all in one amazing place.”

Team solutions were assessed by a panel of trained appraisers, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to engineers, and were scored on a variety of elements, including originality, workmanship, presentation and teamwork.  All work is student created with no adult interference. The DIdeas Keep On Comin’ have competed as a team for four years.  Since September, the DIDeas Keep on Comin’ team members; Novak, Besser, Pipkin and Bray, have invested over 1600 hours in their 2017-18 Central Challenge solution.  The Fine Arts Challenge this year required the team to create and present an 8-minute 2-act musical that includes a change in plans for the characters, including music and lyrics that enhance the storytelling; create and present a spectacle as part of the musical; and design and integrate a set change into the musical. They had to create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents. One appraiser commented “What a captivating performance; awesome combo of art and design on the set.” The DIdeas Keep On Comin’ also competed in an Instant Challenge component which required the team to engage in quick, creative and critical thinking in order to solve a problem in 5 minutes or less while being appraised on their solution and their teamwork.