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DI pushes imaginative limits

While many high school programs compete in athletics or academics, six campus students will compete in a battle of imagination. The annual Destination ImagiNation (DI) contest will be at Buchanan High (East Gym), starting at 8 A.M., March 8.

According to the idodi.org, DI is a community-based program which builds creativity, problem solving and teamwork. Participants solve challenges and push limits of imagination.

Janice Keys-Bramlett, former judge mother of participants, began involvement with DI, because of her daughters. She has judged twice and managed the souvenir booth.

“Each team has to provide a judge and be trained to look for the right things,” Janice said. “What makes a good project is originality, workmanship, team cooperation and generally thinking outside the box.”

Although many elementary and junior high students participate in DI each year for this campus, the last time FC had a high school team was in 2002.

Scott Thao gathered fellow juniors (Anthony Johnson, David Sholes and Tonia and Janae Keys-Bramlett) to compete, in the Fresno and Clovis district, even though he has never competed before.

“Destination ImagiNation is pretty cool, something different for an extra-curricular activity,” Thao said. “It’s really fun having team bonding with your friends and to get together with each other, weekly, over five months.”

The website says, “Teams of five to seven choose from one of five challenges, with its own educational focus…each team challenge is designed to be open-ended and solvable in many ways.”

The five challenges are: technical/mechanical (Obstacles, Of Course), theater arts/science (Hit or Myth), theater arts/fine arts (DI?ve Got a Secret), theater arts/improvisation (Chorific), Structural and architectural design (SWITCH!).

Team FC will compete in ?Obstacles, Of Course?. For the technical portion, they will construct a mechanic cart, 5?-7?-12?, to revolve around a track 15 times. During each lap the team incorporates another part of their puppet show, to meet the theater arts portion.

Johnson designed the background for the story, while Janae designed the puppets. Johnson last participated in DI in first grade and believes his three year experience in drama may benefit the team.

?Our story is about the adventure of Nils Holgerson,? Johnson said. ?He?s mean to his parents and farm animals; then an elf appears to him. He shrinks Neils down and he learns the lesson to treat everything with respect.?

The team agrees the most difficult part of the competition is the improv segment in the theater arts.

“The most challenging part is the improve,” Janae said, “because we have two minutes to think of a skit and we are also judged on our work ethic, and how we work with other team members.”

If the team scores high enough, they will proceed on to state, then global. This group of five would be the second team in campus history, to reach the world category. The last time was in the late 90’s.

“We never know what to expect,” Janice said, “until you walk through the door.”

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