The halls of North Point High School and Theodore G. Davis Middle School were bustling Saturday with wizards, undersea creatures, a kid dressed up like a weather system (it involved a sweatshirt with the word “HAIL” spelled on the back in cotton balls) and enough props to stage a Hollywood production when more than 900 students competed in the Charles County Destination Imagination (DI) competition.
The 116 teams made up of elementary, middle and high school students took part in one of six challenges and an instant challenge that tested their imagination meddle.
Students tackled challenges with names like the Maze Craze, Unlikely Attraction, Change of Tune, Treasure!, Drop Zone and Inside Impact. Teams made up of students in kindergarten through second grade can take part in the Friends Everyone challenge, a noncompetitive exercise.
DI gives students an outlet to express their creativity and work together to solve a problem with flair. The activities also promote teamwork and friendship.
“It’s fun and you came solve problems and work together with your friends,” said Hailey Bottorf, a second grader at T.C. Martin Elementary School, who competed in the Friends Everyone challenge. “And if you’re not friends, I’m pretty sure by the end of the year you will be friends.”
“I found my family,” said Lillie Wright, a sixth grader at Milton M. Somers Middle School on the joint team, the Gladbags, made up of students at Somers and John Hanson Middle School. “It’s just fun and I can be myself with them.”
When it comes to working out challenges and finding a creative way of presenting solutions, forward and out-of-the-box thinkers are sought after for DI teams.
“DI is the opportunity to be very weird without being judged,” Taylor Stalnaker, a Somers eighth grader in the Somers Selfless Seahawks team, said.
“It’s a chance to be wonderfully weird,” Somers sixth grader Miracle Washington added.
The top four elementary school and top four middle school teams, along with all high school teams in each challenge in the Southern Maryland Region Tournament will advance to the state tournament on April 7 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Charles County teams that advance to the state level are:
Maze Craze Challenge
- Elementary: William A. Diggs Elementary School, Diggs Lightning Bolts, first place; Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School, Mazers, second place; Dr. James Craik Elementary School, Craik Super Craze Kids; and Berry Elementary School, Berry Best Techno Bots, fourth place.
- Middle: Piccowaxen Middle School, Team 10-3, first place; and St. Mary’s Bryantown School, SMB Rainbow Warriors, second place.
- Secondary: North Point High School, North Point Lazy Leaches, first place; and North Point, North Point DITWACA, second place.
Unlikely Attraction Challenge
- Elementary:C. Martin Elementary School, Martin DI-namites, first place; St. Peter’s Catholic School, St. Peter’s Fast & Curious Brain, second place; Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy DI-apers, third place; and Arthur Middleton Elementary School, Middleton JAMCANDY, fourth place.
- Middle: Peter’s, Destined2Imagine, first place; homeschool team, Scientific Seven, second place; Milton M. Somers Middle School, Somers Nuclear Rainbow Crushers; third place; and Theodore G. Davis Middle School, Davis Dynamic Dreamers; fourth place.
- Secondary: North Point, Magnificent 7, first place; North Point, Sucker Punch, second place; and St. Charles High School, Attraction Satisfaction, third place.
Change of Tune Challenge
- Elementary: Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, Mitchell Super 7 Kids, first place; Mary H. Matula Elementary School, DI Dodging Dolphins, second place; Berry, Berry Squad, third place; and Craik, Glitter Squad, fourth place.
- Secondary: Westlake High School, Westlake Divas, first place; North Point, Maurice J. McDonough and Westlake high schools and Davis, NPHS/MHS/WHS/Davis, second place; and St. Charles, Final Destination, fourth place.
- Elementary: Craik, Giant Ponies Riding Tacos, first place; Matula, Mission Improvible, second place; Craik, Seven Clever Seekers third place; and Matula, DI Treasure Hunters, fourth place.
- Middle: John Hanson and Somers middle schools, Gladbags, first place; Matthew Henson Middle School, Henson Track Pack, second place; Davis, Chicks n’ Nugget, second place (tie); and Davis, ExtraDInaires, third place.
- Secondary: North Point, D’Inception, first place; North Point, Whoops!, second place; and McDonough, Zanarchies, third place.
Drop Zone Challenge
- Elementary: Peter’s, BrainStorm, first place; J.C. Parks Elementary School, J.C. Parks ES Thinking Diamonds, second place; Gale-Bailey Elementary School, Gale-Bailey Mind Crafters, third place; and Southern Maryland Christian Academy, SCMA, fourth place.
- Middle: Smallwood Middle School, Smallwood Sardonic Seven, first place; St. Peter’s, Flourishing Four, second place; Somers, Muscular Mayhem, third place; HomeSchool Community Connection, HSCC Aero.D.I.namics, third place (tie).
- Secondary: North Point and St. Charles high school, NPHS/SCHS Dynamic Imaginators, first place.
Inside Impact Challenge
- Elementary: Malcolm Elementary School, Malcolm 7 Ugly Sweaters, first place; St. Mary’s Bryantown, The Baconatorz, second place; Diggs, Up the Mission, third place; and Martin, Litter Busters, fourth place.
- Middle: Henson, TBFPSP, first place; St. Peter’s, Lightning Bolts, second place; Hanson, Project Metanoia, third place; and Somers, Selfless Seahawks, fourth place.
- Secondary: Henry E. Lackey High School, Henry E. Lackey Little Rascals, first place; North Point, Bigfoot, second place; North Point, Heart to Heart, third place; and Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and St. Charles, CCtCC, fourth place.
The Renaissance Award went to the Berry Voyagers team, the Westlake Divas team and the Southern Maryland Christian Academy’s second-grade team. The Renaissance Award is given for exceptional skill in the areas of engineering, design or performance. This award went to the Berry Voyagers team, the Westlake Divas team, and the SMCA 2ndGrade team.
The DaVinci Award was awarded to Craik Da’ Big Cats team. The award is given for exceptional creativity, a unique approach to the problem and/or risk taking.
Spirit of DI Award is given for exceptional spirit, teamwork, volunteerism and sportsmanship. Berry Techno Bots team and the St. Peter’s Brainstorm team earned the award.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.
Images courtesy of the Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School Twitter page