Aqua Girls take first place in Global Destination Imagination competition

From left, front: team manager Michele Moore, Eliza Aleksandrovic, Caroline Fowles, Audrey Ray, team manager Kim Ray; back: Grace Chilton, Olivia Reed, Ava Ransom, Patty Yuhas.

Aqua Girls, a Destination Imagination (DI) team of Bay High School juniors, won two first-place trophies at the DI Global Finals competition May 22-25, held in Kansas City, MO. The girls competed in an arena that included more than 1,400 teams from 15 countries. Team members are Eliza Aleksandrovic, Grace Chilton, Caroline Fowles, Ava Ransom, Audrey Ray, Olivia Reed and Patty Yuhas.

DI provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based Challenge types – Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning. Teams perform tasks that may involve building structures, inventing solutions to problems, doing research, performing community service and more.

Presentation of the projects includes a storytelling and a performance aspect. Challenges are time-constrained, and while teams have a general idea of what will be expected in their chosen challenge performance, details are not given out until the scheduled performance time.

This year, Aqua Girls chose the Improvisational Challenge, and they performed a skit based on their previous research of historical figures appearing on coins throughout the world. They were required to incorporate comedy and tragedy, to incorporate a story-line surprise obstacle, and to change from verbal performance to mime half-way through the presentation.

The Bay High team has been together for eight years, first qualifying for the Global Finals in Knoxville, TN as fourth-graders at Westerly Elementary School, when they chose a Service Learning Challenge and arranged for a group of community members to clean up Huntington Beach.

In 2015, the team came in second place in the world for their Challenge selection, Feary Tales, requiring a blend of artistic creativity and problem-solving skills, creating a character and story line, functional artwork as scenery, and using stagecraft to perform an illusion.

Attendance at the international level, earned by competing at regional and then state levels, is a rare opportunity to interact with students from across the U.S. and from all over the world. The students mingle during meals and other events, such as trading team-designed and state-designed pins, a popular activity that encourages students to talk with one another.

The Aqua Girls plan to participate in Destination Imagination next year. As seniors, they will each earn a "red tie," which marks them as alumni of the program and allows them to return to DI competitions as volunteers in the future.

Parents Michele Moore and Kim Ray have been the team's managers, and Marian Harmount, gifted education coordinator at the school district, has been the student advisor for all the district's Destination Imagination teams.

Karen Derby

Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:22 AM, 06.04.2019