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Destination Imagination team from Corey Academy
Posted in , on May 22, 2024

Destination Imagination inspires innovation

Seven fourth graders from Corey Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language are going to miss the last day of school tomorrow.

That’s because they left for Kansas City today.

The fourth graders are part of a Destination Imagination team heading to the DI Global Finals in Missouri this week.

The all-girl team – Annabelle Ellis, Eden Shelor, Sophia Kidwell, Eliana Trawick, Elle Whittenberg, Jenna Carlton and Penny Nutt – is the district’s only team to qualify for the finals after the girls won the Mid-Cities Regional competition and earned a state championship at the state meet.

“This is a huge deal,” said Sonia Justl Ellis, the team’s manager and parent volunteer. “Qualifying for Global Finals is very difficult, and these empathetic, hard-working, smart girls are amazing!”

Destination Imagination team from Corey Academy blanket driveDestination Imagination competitions require students to work together in teams to solve open-ended STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) challenges designed to teach the creative process. The goal is to inspire students to imagine and innovate today so they become the creative and collaborative leaders of tomorrow.

Corey’s students have definitley been inspired.

“I learned that anything is possible – anything!” Annabelle said. “All you have to do is work hard and try your best. It’s fun to be creative.”

The Corey team’s road to Kansas City started months ago in the fall with a service-learning project. The students organized a blanket drive at Corey where they collected 345 blankets that they then donated to local shelters in time for winter.

The team then developed a presentation about the blanket drive that they delivered at the DI competitions.

“The presentation is the story of everything they did and learned through their Service Learning Challenge project – their blanket drive – done through the lens of a fantasy story with a map they created using technical methods to show their progression within their story,” Ellis explained.

Destination Imagination team from Corey AcademyIt’s not your average presentation, but this isn’t your average DI team.

“It was really fun to hand out blankets to the homeless, and I’m really excited to do DI again next year,” Eliana said.

Next year is going to have wait for now though. First, they have the Global Finals with teams from 26 other states and 15 different countries.

The team will be graded on its service project presentation and in a surprise STEAM challenge where they will have a limited amount of time to create something. The key to success will be working together.

“DI has taught me that it’s always better to work together than by yourself,” Elle said.