Top regional Destination Imagination team returns from global finals

The Destination Imagination team representing Alberta at the Global Finals Kansas City, “Puns Upon A Time” march into the arena ready to show off their unique innovations.

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Returning home from the world stage, Grande Prairie’s Destination Imagination team is already looking ahead and planning for next year’s competition.

Claiming victory at the Peace Country regional tournament and 36 out of 59 in their category at globals, the kids of “Puns Upon A Time” are fired up to have another run at the competition for the 2019-20 season.

Split into eight categories, including technical, fine arts, improvisational, scientific, engineering, rising stars, instant and service learning, the 2019 Destination Imagination global finals saw over 1,400 teams compete and display their unique solutions to designated problems.

“We participated in the fine arts challenge, ‘Game on,’ where we had to use a game to create a ‘game gizmo,’ which had to include a technical element,” said Cheyenne Gawley, 14, who competed in the last five Destination Imagination seasons.

“The game we chose was ‘Trouble’ and we turned it into an election in a way, where each party had to debate in order to move forward.”

“Puns Upon A Time” also included members, Zoe Rak, Lennox Graham, Ava Driedger and Caden Morrow. Having aged out of the middle level of competition, Gawley and Rak prepare to take on the secondary level competition, entrusting their former teammates to reconquer the middle division.

Gawley said the team went in to globals flying blind, having never gone before as well as only having to compete in the Alberta regional competition before moving on to Kansas City.

“Normally teams compete in a regional and affiliate competition before globals,” said team manager Susan Picard.

“Coming out in the middle of the pack is really good for a first time, especially going up against teams that are a lot more experienced and are more aware that they needed to take their projects to greater levels of craftsmanship.”

“We realized we had to change a lot of things in order to be able to compete against the level of competition at globals,” said Gawley. “We almost redid our whole game gizmo.”

The fine arts challenge outlined the requirement for teams to design and create both a gizmo, causing an action or event, as well as a container for the game, able to undergo a transformation. Either of these elements was allowed to be considered a technical element of the project.

For the story element of the challenge, the team chose to treat each living game piece like a politician and have the game progress based on campaign results.

“In politics, you’re not really in the game unless people really like you or really hate you—they have to have a strong response to you otherwise you’re not actually in the race, (which) was an astute observation on their part, being able to incorporate that into the game,” said Picard.

“They set it up almost like a debate except the moderator was public opinion, and when they were asked questions, a pop-o-matic (being their gizmo) would go off to indicate what the public opinion was. Then they would move so far depending on what public opinion was.”

Picard indicated that the remaining members of “Puns Upon a Time” still in the middle school division have already reformed the team and recruited new members to fill the holes left behind by Rak and Gawley.

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