From May 23 to 26, the organization known as Destination Imagination will hold its annual global competition at the University of Tennessee and will once again host a team from Cape Cod.
Destination Imagination (DI) is an innovative problem-solving competition composed mainly of high school and middle school students. It is meant to be highly challenging and competitive in order to sort out the students who work quickly on their feet and most efficiently with others. To reach this global competition, a school’s team must win at the regional level and then again at the state level.
Despite the many challengers, a group of students from Nauset and Cape Cod Regional Technical High Schools will be competing at the global competition for the third time. The group is composed of Nauset seniors Kaia Howard, Michael Sanborn, Bevin Burns, Tori Schi and Cape Cod Tech senior Chris Griffin; the team is managed by Mary Sanborn. This DI team is known as the “Final Five” and they have made a dynasty of representing the Cape at a competition that includes more than 14,000 teams from 15 different countries around the world.
To get there, they had to advance past “quite a few groups at the regional competition” as well as “seven or eight teams” that won their respective regions at the state competition, said Sanborn. This year, the Massachusetts Imagination Destination state competition was held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on March 24, where the Nauset team prevailed over the rest of the Commonwealth. In order to accomplish this, the team needed to effectively present the work they’ve done over the past year.
“This year we teamed up with the Eastham Elementary School and we talked with them about Destination Imagination,” said Sanborn. Schi said they chose this community service project because they are “trying to get younger kids involved.” The students then decided to present the community service project in the form of a skit that won them first place. According to the students, it is their chemistry that has allowed them to enjoy this much success over the years.
“The program as a whole is really focused on team building and working as a group, so when you’re being challenged it brings you a lot closer together,” said Schi. Griffin added that it is also because the group has “really bonded since middle school.” As they look forward to representing Cape Cod at Destination Imagination one last time as high school students, the only thing that stands in their way is the cost. With the competition at the end of the month, the students hope to quickly raise the $10,000 necessary to compete in Knoxville, Tenn. They are working towards this goal by holding fundraising events such as a car wash at Breakaway on Route 134 in Dennis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 6. They also encourage that people help by contributing to their GoFundMe page, “Nauset/Cape Tech DI Team 2018.”
Beyond monetary contribution, Sanborn said the team could really use “everyone’s support from the Cape.” Ultimately, they hope that if they perform even better than they have in years past, Destination Imagination will continue to grow in popularity.
“It’s a really awesome program for kids to get involved with,” said Schi “and I think a lot of people don’t know about it.” Schi also stated that Destination Imagination gives students “good practice with public speaking, teamwork, and collaboration” and is a great program to “get you ready for life after school.”