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District News

TCPS Destination Imagination Teams Earn Bid to Global Finals

Three Talbot County Destination Imagination (DI) Teams will travel to Kansas City, Missouri to participate in the Global Finals.  The teams are managed by volunteers and seek community support to help cover the costs, including a $5,500 registration fee per team and travel and lodging expenses.  Their fundraising efforts have included donations from other community organizations, corporate sponsorships, and participating Pit Beef sales, Bake Sales, and other events.
The teams competed at DI tournaments where they presented their Team Challenge solutions for feedback and scores. Each Team’s scores from their Team Challenge are then ranked against others solving the same Challenge in their level. Top placing teams are invited to the next tournament in their Affiliate or to DI’s Global Finals, whichever comes next. A total of 45 students participated in DI this year.
Three Talbot County teams placed 1st at the Maryland State Tournament and advanced to Globals.
The Easton Middle School team is the “EMS DI Squids”: Reagen Cain, Maddie Biringer, Violet Masone, Emme Aleman, and Alden Gibbons-Neff, all current 6th graders. Their Team Manager is Kim Gibbons-Neff.  The team chose the Fine Arts Challenge this year.  They had to create a story that involved a trickster who had to overcome a tricky situation and design a costume transformation and have an illusion that enhanced their story. 
The Senior Level St. Michaels High School DI Team is, “SMHS Henckel & the 1st Borns”: Sophie Anderson, Sean Gunshenan, Paige Simonsen, Mackenzie Fox, Nathan Henckel, and JT Lizewski. The Team Managers are Kate Fox and Amy Anderson. They came up with a solution to the Scientific challenge called “Up Close.”
The St. Michaels Middle School DI team that came in 1st was “SMMS DI & the Seven Saints:” Miles Fox, Tyler Murphy, Ryley Beers, Brody McDaniel, Ethan Royer, Johnny Mautz & Sebastian Cornish, all in 8th grade. Team Managers are Kim Beers & Rebecca Mautz. They came up with a solution to the Service Learning Project Outreach challenge called “For the Future.”
According to the organization’s website, “The Destination Imagination global community is united by a core belief that when students have the freedom to grow and collaborate without boundaries, their confidence explodes and the world opens up to them in new ways. We enable this transformation by providing challenges rooted in STEAM subjects that inspire unique solutions through the use of the creative process.  Through STEAM challenges and teamwork, DI participants learn the 21st Century skills necessary to become lifelong problem solvers who are inspired to innovate and create solutions to real-world challenges quickly and collaboratively.”
“With the cost of Globals being what it is, we can only afford to send our first place teams even though others qualified,” said DI Coordinator, Sharon Rieck.  “Some of our students would not have the opportunity to be exposed to a worldwide event otherwise or may never have the opportunity to meet and interact with children from other countries,” she added. “The Global Finals experience can provide them with a reason to learn about other cultures they may have discussed in a classroom setting. The teamwork and collaboration skills learned through DI may only be touched upon in the classroom but are brought home in full force through our project.”
If you would like to support the Talbot County DI Teams, please contact Kim Gibbons-Neff at for the Easton Middle School team and/or Sharon Rieck at for the St. Michaels teams.