Campbell students prepare for Destination Imagination global finals

By Graig Graziosi


Just before Taylor King, now 16, began attending Campbell Memorial High School, she felt that the school was lacking academic extracurricular clubs.

Hoping to one day get into a good college, she wrote school leaders a letter asking them to provide more clubs, offering the school a list of suggestions that included Destination Imagination.

Now in 10th grade, Taylor is one of seven students on CMHS’s Destination Imagination team, and they’re getting ready for the largest competition of their school year.

Along with Taylor, the team members are 10th-graders Joey Broz, Kenny Schemetti and George Straser; eighth-graders Alyssa Perry and Courtney King; and seventh-grader Angeleah Matzye.

Destination Imagination is a nonprofit organization that creates challenges for teams of students to work together to overcome.

After receiving their challenge prompts – which can include problems in engineering, technical work, fine arts, sciences, community outreach or improv – the teams brainstorm ideas and build their solutions, eventually showing them off for judges at local, state and national Destination Imagination competitions.

The Campbell team chose to tackle the scientific challenge this year, and has been working on its idea since September.

“We had to incorporate three scientific concepts into the challenge, so we chose to include angular momentum of an extended object, electricity and leverage,” Angeleah said. “We brainstormed a lot of ideas before we decided.”

The team’s presentation is centered on a huge, poster-board-size story book with rotating pages, a variety of large colorful props and a light-up, interactive electronic game rigged up from scratch by George on the “book’s” final page.

The students are in the final days of their preparations before they head to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to participate in the Destination Imagination global finals Monday. To attend, the team has to raise close to $10,000 to cover its costs. So far, the students have raised at least $5,000.

Though the work is hard – the students said they practice any time they’re all free – the team members said they intend to continue participating in Destination Imagination next year.

“We spend so much time together doing that, when we come back each year it’s like coming back to our little DI family,” Angeleah said.

Those interested in donating to the team’s trip costs can do so by contacting the high school.

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