Maharishi School students win at DI
Six of the nine Maharishi School Destination Imagination teams competed at state level and qualified to advance to the international competition in May.
All of the teams will perform for the Fairfield community at the annual DI Showcase, dinner and silent auction May 17 at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.
Challenges and results
Winning first place in the scientific challenge were 11th- and 12th-grade girls Avery Travis, Leanna Miller, Univa Song and Qianqian Guo. Nita Travis is the team’s manager.
The team researched and explained with visuals the theoretical physics behind the eventual collapse of the universe. They also designed and created survival gear and demonstrated it within the context of a story about characters in a space craft who survive in the extreme environment of the collapsing universe.
Winning first place in the technical challenge were 10th- and 11th-grade boys Bimba Shrestha, Doga Osezmi, Perry Apin, Gabe Sperry, Nathaniel Zhu, Giovanni Cingire, and Marcus Schoenfeld. Donna Cingire is the team’s manager.
The team presented a story about a technology that detects things a human cannot sense without help.They designed and built a robot which detected and removed hidden objects during their story.
The two Maharishi School senior level teams competing in the fine arts category were so closely matched that both have qualified to compete at the international level. Winning by just over 2 points were ninth-grade students Ellie Mason, Alista Wikle, Madelyn Stood, Phillip Winer, Loreena Hansen and Katherine Wang. The team’s manager is Suzannah Schindler.
The 11th-grade girls’ team members are Dia Huggins, Alina Knight, Kadie Roberts, Anna Unger, Amanda Valentine and Queena Zhou. Susan Huggins is the team manager.
The teams had to create a living comic book.
Winning first place in the elementary-level structure challenge were fifth-grade boys Colin Siemsen, Lee Miller, Benji Boucherle, Liam Soares and David Ellinghaus. The team’s manager is Eric Caplan.
The team had to build a weight-bearing structure that was tested against two forces at the same time. They also had to design a prop to specification and assemble it during the presentation of a story in which tension is a threat to stability and is overcome in some way.
Placing second at the middle- school level of the structure challenge were seventh- and eighth-grade boys Drew Schoenfeld, Bodhi Boucherle, Karthik Vempati, Pranav Chhalliyil and Dante Cingire. The team manager is Noelle Boucherle.
Winning first place in the senior level improvisational challenge were Caleb Mullenneaux, David Wadsworth, Tomas Bousquet, Ananth Ashok and Ivan Liu. The team is managed by Cathy Wadsworth.
The team was challenged with integrating current and past professions to resolve a conflict.
Winning third place in the improvisational challenge at the middle level were seventh- and eighth-grade girls Paloma Braun, Bella Unger and Bea Winn-Bousquet. The team is managed by AnaVictoria Braun.
Mark Wilkins is the Destination Imagination program director at Maharishi School.
Items are needed for the annual Destination Imagination garage sale to raise funds for the 32 students who will be going to the international competition.
For information and to have items picked up, call Mark Wilkins at 919-6064 or Donna Cingire at233-7226.
About Destination Imagination
An international nonprofit, volunteer organization, Destination Imagination aims to be the global leader in teaching the creative process from imagination to innovation and to “develop opportunities that inspire the global community of learners to use diverse approaches in applying 21st Century Skills and creativity.”
The program encourages teams of students to have fun, take risks, focus, and frame challenges while incorporating STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — the arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas and the collaborative problem solving process.
Students from kindergarten through university level participate. Each team has an adult team manager, but the adults cannot give any feedback or suggestions about solving the team challenge.
This year, two of Maharishi School’s team managers are alumni and international champions in the DI Globals competition during their high school career.
Eric Caplan, Class of 2010, won second place with his team, in 2005. Suzannah Schindler, Class of 2007, won first place with her team in 2005, and received the DaVinci Award in 2006 for excellence in design and engineering.
“I encourage other alums to give back — at Saturday instant challenge practice, as team managers or appraisers, or even just coming to the showcase before Globals,” said Schindler, “It’s so rewarding to help continue the program that was absolutely instrumental in my own educational experience.”
Aaron Hirschberg, Class of 2003, has been volunteering as an appraiser for several years and is now training to be a challenge master at the state competitions. Hirschberg and his team had a remarkable DI career as students, winning first place twice and second place twice at the international competition.
Teams compete in one of seven challenges. After months spent creating and developing their solutions, they present at sub-state and state tournaments. They also compete in a 10 minute “instant challenge.” Top-scoring teams advance to Global Finals, the world’s largest celebration of creativity with more than 16,000 students competing from around the world.