District Spotlight: Elementary School Students to Compete in Global STEM/Arts Tournament!

May 17, 19

Spotlight Image

A team of students from Jefferson Elementary (Pullman School District) will compete from May 22 to May 25 in the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City, Missouri. 
The team, Random Guess, consists of six fifth-graders and one third-grader: Kate Armstrong, Silas Brown, Tegan Gotch, Sidney Johnson, Delaney Matthews, Levi Ritter and Raya Ritter. The team specializes in improvisational acting.
Team manager and students at Jefferson Elementary

Jaclyn Gotch, team manager and mother of Tegan Gotch, said that over 1,100 teams from around the world will compete at Globals. Competing teams include students from international elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. Destination Imagination is an international educational nonprofit which encourages students to problem solve as a team.

Jefferson Elementary originally had five teams, all of which competed in the Regional Tournament on March 2. Two of the teams moved forward to compete in the state tournament on March 30. Random Guess is the only Jefferson Elementary team that will compete in the Global Finals.

Teams will compete in two different challenges during Destination Imagination tournaments. The first is the team challenge that centers around the team’s specialty.

“This group is our improv group, so they will be given the details of what their skit has to include,” Gotch said. “They will have two minutes to prepare and five minutes to perform.”

The second part is the team’s instant challenge, which usually includes an engineering challenge where the team will have to demonstrate their ability to work together.

“No one gets to watch the instant challenges. I’m not even allowed in the room with the team,” Gotch said. “We have to wait until the end of Globals for [the students] to be able to share that. It’s a big mystery all season.”

Sonia Bringhurst Quote - In this kind of program you need to have a background in STEM attributes and the arts
Sonia Bringhurst, team manager and 2nd-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary, said Random Guess has been practicing for two hours every Thursday since the beginning of the school year.

“They bring a great deal of perseverance and this team is very good at thinking on their feet,” she said. “In this kind of program you need to have a background in STEM attributes and the arts  – and be able to work together. When they perform they do it together in a collaborative manner.”

The members of Random Guess said they are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in Globals. Johnson said that after participating in Destination Imagination for three years, going to Globals will be an incredible experience for her.

“I really think [Destination Imagination] has opened my mind to new opportunities and chances because it expands the imagination,” she said. “There’s no limits or anything and you can just explore.”

Read more in the Daily Evergreen

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