Columbus Students Headed to ‘Imagination’ Nationals

Winning Columbus students.
Winning Columbus students.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (Press Release) — After winning honors for creativity, teamwork and problem solving in local, state and regional tournaments, Columbus Middle School has earned the right to travel to Destination Imagination’s Global Finals, the largest creative thinking and problem solving competition in the world, to be held May 20-23 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Team members include:

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Technology Challenge: Sam Yarborough, Darrell Montes Johnson, Tijah McCrary, Coen Velek, Sophia Oswalt, Kerrigan Clark and Maya Rush

Fine Arts Challenge: Sebastian Rojas-Rincon, Zachary Wilson, Genesa Williams, Katelyn Lowe, Krishuana Jethrow, Tierah Macon, Essence Hughes

Structure Challenge: Jacob Williams, Tyrese Jones, Arick (AJ) Evans, Marian Turner, Amaris Banks, Wynter Brooks and Kayla Hairston

They will compete with other teams in the areas of technology, fine arts and structural design in three of the seven, open-ended challenges that require young people to apply science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in addition to improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork and community service.

“I believe that students like organized chaos. They are free to improvise and be creative; yet at the same time, have guidelines, rules and criteria to use as a measure of success in any endeavor. Destination Imagination is the perfect academic program to use for instruction all year and then the reward of winning a competition is useful in providing a means to establish goals. This teaches a multitude of life-long lessons. I am honored that the school district allows me to work with such creative, talented students,” said Team Manager Sylvia Collins.

“DI is a fun and informative experience for students. My teacher, Mrs. Collins, helped us learn many skills that we will actually use in everyday life after DI. Sebastian Rojas-Rincon.

“I enjoyed the experience overall but especially learning to use my time more wisely. From the beginning, my team would elaborate on different ideas almost every day and then merge them together to create a good solution. Genesa Williams

“I enjoyed getting to see different ideas and how everyone working together would then come up with the best ways to change something and then make it better. Essence Hughes

Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million young people and adults who have benefitted from taking part in its acclaimed Challenge Program. This year, another 100,000 young people have competed in tournaments throughout the U.S. and in 30 countries to earn a spot at the Global Finals competition in May. Columbus Middle School is among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,400 teams that will advance to Global Finals, which is being sponsored by Disney and will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 20-23.

Destination Imagination participants and attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in more than 100 skills workshops ranging from 3-D printing to Broadway dance to computer science.

Destination Imagination is an educational program where student teams are immersed in the creative process needed to solve open-ended Challenges, and then present their solutions at regional and state tournaments. If they win at those levels, they may receive an invitation to Global Finals.

Destination Imagination, Inc. dedicates itself to enriching the global community by providing opportunities for learners of all ages to explore and discover using the creative process from imagination to innovation.