Carihi students participated in Destination Imagination.

Pushing the limits of the student imagination

“Communication, creativity, and innovation” are what Destination Imagination (DI) is all about, according to grade 11 student Austin Chiasson. He’s been involved with Carihi’s teams for nearly two years now.

Destination Imagination allows students to complete challenges that encourage them to push the limits of their imagination while working cooperatively and creatively with their teammates.  It was an idea that started in the United States and has expanded across the globe.

The school has two teams: one that focuses on technical challenges and the other on fine arts. The teams meet several times a week to work on their main challenge for upcoming competitions. Main challenges are often a question they have to answer or an objective they have to reach, always with a specific theme.  DI members all over the world are working on these same challenges.

“Right now, [the technical team] is working on building a vehicle that can transport a team member back and forth across a stage 100 times. It has to involve several different propulsion systems and movement methods. This type of challenge will involve engineering skills and oftentimes robotics will be used,” Chiasson said.

In addition to preparing for their main challenges, the teams perform “instant challenges” as well, where they are given a set of materials and a limited time period to complete the task or performance. Instant challenges are a great way for the two teams to compete against each other and to practice quick thinking.

Last May, three of Carihi’s DI members attended the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee at the University of Tennessee campus. They spent three days with over 16,000 people from all over the world.  Along with the competitions, the participants were able to attend workshops and speeches presented by famous personalities such as, singer Paula Abdul and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The teams have no big trips planned for 2016, so far, but will compete at the North Island Regionals in March. Destination Imagination is not only fun, but also has an important purpose.

“[It] likes to focus on 21st century learning and the fact that these students, the jobs they’ll be going into aren’t necessarily developed yet,” said Brittany Renooy, one of Carihi’s DI teacher-coordinators. “They don’t know what they’re going to do and what technology they’re going to have in the future.

“So, what they’re trying to do is develop students that can think critically and come up with solutions to these problems when they don’t know what they are and be creative about it and come up with amazing results for the things that they’re doing.”