|We just returned from a delightful few days at the
Imagination Globals competition in Knoxville, TN. The
story begins several months ago when a talented young 8th grade student
from South Carolina wrote asking me about pendulums. Sarah had found
a link to my Pendulums page while researching their skit topic: "The
Plot and the Pendulum". Over the past six
months she has kept me abreast of their progress ending with their
appearance at the Globals last week as state champs for their problem and
The Destination Imagination organization sponsors annual competitions
in creative problem solving at several levels (elementary, middle school,
high school, university and a few other adult categories). Teams of
up to 7 members choose from a list of theme topics and develop a
solution and an accompanying skit to solve the problem. At the
school levels, adult roles are limited to logistical support - the design
and implementation of the solutions are entirely up to the kids. One of the
mother/managers told me, "That's not my department"
became her mantra when the team asked how to do something or which choice
would be better.
The global finals represent state and country winners determined by a
series of school, regional, and state competitions. There were a
total of 829 teams at this year's competition, probably well over 5,000
students representing the most creative young problem solvers in the
country. I does renew one's hope for the future.
I had told Sarah that if they won the state competition we would come
see their presentation at the Globals. They did, and we
The guidelines for the chosen problem required the pendulum be used to determine two alternate
outcomes to their story. The girls chose pollution and its effect
on mankind as their theme. My wife and I were accepted
into the group as if we had been involved all along and it didn't take
long to be impressed
by their attitudes and willingness to work hard to achieve a
goal. They ended up in the middle of the pack when
scores were totaled, but no one seemed too devastated.
It seems that, while winning would have been great, the journey to Globals
was reward enough.
Here are a few pictures that
might motivate viewers to investigate the DI program for their own
Click a thumbnail to view a larger image:
secrets revealed! (As long suspected, duct tape holds ManKind together. Note the jump rope
that supports the pendulum shaft. I love it!)
over, we can smile again!
Nature and the elements. (Sulfur is Stinky!)
disassembles ManKind. (While Mom and the girls were sorry to see him
go, I think Dad will be happy to have his garage back!)
trading floor - so many pins, so little time.