Apr 152010

Congratulations not only to the 15 teams that qualified to advance to Global Finals on May 26-29, 2010 at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, but also to ALL teams that showcased their solution at any Iowa tournament, regional or state. The fact that you followed through and completed your Challenge is a testament to your hard work and dedication, and also to the encouragement provided by your Team Manager and/or Coordinator, teachers, parents and family members. We enjoyed every one of your performances thoroughly! Now is the time for each team to celebrate its success, not only in terms of how you placed at a tournament, but also in terms of skills you gained and/or improved, friendships you made, and the fun you had.

Scores and press release

The scores for the State Tournament are posted at the state Web site here. You can analyze your results and see how you placed in your Central Challenge, Side Trips (if applicable) and Instant Challenge, and set some goals for next year. Please take a moment, too, to read the press release that appears here. You may wish to use all or part of this press release to announce your team’s results in your local community.

Renaissance Award

Besides the state-level 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners that were announced, congratulations are in order for the single You’re Gonna Flip! team that earned a Renaissance Award at the State Tournament. This award is offered for exceptional skill in the areas of engineering, design, or performance. Congrats to the Fairfield team, No Idea (Team 112-99026) for earning a Renaissance Award in the areas of engineering and design. The Appraising team wrote, “This team demonstrated outstanding engineering and design ability in terms of a mirror. The interesting problem the team had to solve was how to crack and then shatter a mirror in a safe and repeatable way. The team was able to hang polycarbon material (in pieces) to create the illusion of a complete mirror within a wooden structure. Each piece had to be strung on a piece of fishing line and be perfectly positioned to create the proper illusion. With a pull (or rather, kick) of a lever at the bottom, they loosened only a few pieces to crack the mirror. Later, the team removed the top supporting beam to cause the ‘glass’ pieces to fall and shatter. The engineering and design ability needed to allow the mirror to break in two different ways and time is immense and fully deserving of this award.”

DaVinci Award

DIrect DIposit team 112-61235 from Moville, which is advancing to Global Finals, earned the only Da Vinci Award presented this program season. The award, which the Ferocious Five received at the Western Regional Tournament, recognizes exceptional creativity, a unique approach to the problem and/or risk taking. The Ferocious Five received this award for outstanding creativity. The Appraisers wrote, “This team comprehensively incorporated a significant current event to explain the critical importance of getting supplies into Haiti, a country decimated by a catastrophic earthquake. We feel this team displayed the qualities that exemplify the spirit of DI and deserve the Da Vinci Award for outstanding creativity. Throughout the storyline, the team displayed research of the event by understanding the quake’s magnitude and resulting devastation. They showed critical reasoning and an innate understanding of public policy and administration by making important determinations of which structures would have to be rebuilt to get supplies into the country and to administer to its people such as airports and hospitals. And finally, by demonstrating that they considered alternatives and chose the most effective means to quickly get supplies into the country, they displayed compassion and empathy that we found wonderful.”


Additional congratulations go to the students who earned college scholarships this year. Mary Emily Berge of Indianola High School was awarded a Students for a Creative Iowa Student Scholarship, and Stephanie Choquette from Eagle Grove High School received the Kitch-Eilerts Memorial Scholarship that honors the memory of former DI participants and volunteers Dayle Kitch and Aaron Eilerts.

Mary Emily Berge has participated in the Destination ImagiNation program for 6 years. Her team received the Da Vinci Award twice, and earned 2nd and 3rd place finishes at the State Tournament on three separate occasions. She says, “In Destination ImagiNation I learned to think critically for the first time in my life . . . In DI I was presented with challenges that were hard for me, but fun because it was one of the first activities that ever engaged my mind.” Mary points out  through the DI program, she also learned about responsibility, teamwork and compromise, and how to think on her feet.

Stephanie Choquette, who has been a Destination ImagiNation participant for 4 years, has been extremely involved with her church, teaching, playing music, serving on the parish council and more. She has volunteered for the local food pantry, the Humane Society of North Central Iowa, and Meals on Wheels. She tutors students and volunteers at her school, and is an active member of the Student Senate and Character Counts program. “It makes me feel good that I can make a difference in my community,” she says. “I am very grateful that my family helped me get involved and start doing community service activities. I have gained a new perspective on the way people and animals live that are less fortunate than I am.”

T-shirt and pin design

A big thank you goes to 7th grade student Temesha Derby of Grinnell, who is responsible for the design of the gumball pin. Another set of thanks goes to 7th grader Luke Whitney of Anthon-Oto Middle School for the light bulb design for the T-shirts. The T-shirts with this design will be worn proudly by all Iowa teams at Global Finals during Opening Ceremonies, and the pins will be traded with teams from around the world.


Thank you also to all of the following people who helped make Iowa’s Destination ImagiNation program a success this year:

  • Affiliate Board members
  • Tournament Directors
  • Affiliate Webmaster
  • All Challenge Masters
  • Temesha Derby from Grinnell (supported by Grinnell State Bank) for the 2010 state pin design concept
  • Luke Whitney from Anthon-Oto Middle School for the 2010 state T-shirt design concept
  • Dean Wallace of Carroll Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc. for donating pop and bottled water for Appraisers
  • Panera Bread for discounting the cost of Appraiser lunches at the Eastern Regional and State Tournaments
  • Quiznos for discounting the cost of Appraiser lunches at the Western Regional Tournament
  • Doyle Forster and the folks from Chartwells who provided food service at the State Tournament
  • American Legion of Iowa Foundation for medals and award plaques
  • Cyber-Anatomy for providing free printing of some of the Instant Challenge Team Workshop materials
  • Iowa Energy Center for printing and free use of facilities for Board meetings
  • Carroll Kuemper Catholic Schools for hosting the Western Regional Tournament at a discounted rate
  • Kirkwood Community College and Ames Middle School for hosting our tournaments and free use of the facilities
  • Thanks to their site liaisons, as follows: Bruce Antion of Ames Middle School; Tim Fitzpatrick & Penny Miller of Carroll Kuemper Catholic Schools; and Lori Bell of Kirkwood Community College
  • All Appraising volunteers, school Coordinators, workshop facilitators, Team Managers and parents who provide the DI experience to Iowa students

We could not run this program without everyone’s efforts.

Congratulations once more to all Iowa teams, and thanks to everyone! We hope to see you back next year. Keep posted for news about our Global Finals teams, and about next year’s Challenges.