Willow Creek Elementary School’s 5th grade Destination ImagiNation team was one of 30 Colorado teams attending the Global Finals Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., May 22-25. Each of the teams had already won in their categories in both district and state competitions in Colorado.
Destination ImagiNation’s Global Finals is the world’s largest creativity and problem solving program for children. There were approximately 800 teams from the U.S. and other countries in the tournament competitions held at the University of Tennessee, which stressed creativity and teamwork.
The Willow Creek team has been together for two years. This year, out of five “mind-bending” challenges, they chose the Central Challenge entitled “It’s Your Move,” which involved creating a game for a 20′ by 20′ game board. The requirements included developing a vehicle that could move around the board with a self-contained power source, and creating a device that could send objects to a receiver from randomly chosen sites on the board.
Their humorous solution included a car shaped like a shower, a giant papier-mâché toilet as the receiver and a long series of duct-taped Hot Wheels tracks to get the objects to the receiver.
The Willow Creek team was also required to participate in the Instant Challenge component of the competition, which stresses improvisation. Teams are given a problem and must create and present a solution in approximately five minutes, often involving building some sort of device or structure out of items like Styrofoam cups, paper clips and straw.
After winning first place in both the district and state competitions, the Willow Creek team placed 11th out of 50 teams in their category at the Global Finals.