Area teams head to DI global competition

 COURTESY PHOTOPinkerton Academy's Destination Imagination team is headed to the global competition in Knoxville this month. From left are Michelle Spera, Brianna Haller, Gwen Chandler, Isabella Baker, Sam Clough, David Pierson (team co-manager and Pinkerton Class of 2017).

DERRY — It's not just about the destination but the journey to get there.

Just ask members of the Pinkerton Academy Destination Imagination team and they may say life is a journey, full of creativity, friendship and problem-solving.

That's the mix that helped the high-schoolers earn a trip to the Destination Imagination global competition later this month in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Destination Imagination is a creativity-based program where students from elementary age up through high school and beyond form teams to solve problems based on specific themes, rules, time frames and other criteria that puts a team into action to do the problem while working together on unique ways to show off the challenge.

This all happens with minimal help from team advisors or coaches, who sit on the sidelines during practice and competition days as part of the program's guidebook.

For Pinkerton, students making up the "DI for Dummies" team tackled the problem "Drop Zone," challenging students to create a structure that can withstand weights while also incorporating a unique skit.

"You start with a theme," said team member and Pinkerton junior Brianna Haller, whose mother Rhonda serves as a team coach. Brianna said she started loving the program when she was in third grade at Derry's Ernest P. Barka Elementary School.

Rhonda noted she stays out of the mix when it comes to offering too much assistance.

"I can't help build anything," she said.

Rhonda said Destination Imagination is a great program, offering a challenging way for students of all ages to contribute, no matter what talents, skills or interests they have.

"There is always a place for you," she said.

Pinkerton will be joined in the world competition by other local teams including: Challenge "Maze Craze," elementary level,  Ernest P. Barka Elementary School; middle level Gilbert H. Hood Middle School, and secondary level, Londonderry High School; Challenge "Treasure," elementary level, Londonderry.

The Hood team also took a special "Spirit of Discovery and Imagination Award" during the regional competition held in March.

Teams from 48 states and 16 countries will be represented in Knoxville.

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