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Challenge your imagination

Teams from across Manitoba recently gathered at the University of Winnipeg for the 2018 Destination Imagination provincial tournament.

WSD sent 11 teams to participate in the event. Virgin Radio’s Ace Burpee got students geared up during a pep-rally style opening ceremony before sending teams off to their competition sites at various locations in the U of W.

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Destination Imagination tournaments have teams competing in several different challenges, including science, technology, engineering, fine arts, improvisation and instant challenges. Each student, with his or her own learning styles and talents, brings a unique perspective to each challenge.

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For example, this year’s technical challenge was called Maze Craze. Students had to build a maze traveller—some automated robots, others semi-automatons guided by sound—to navigate the maze. Students also had to transform an item inside the maze (often through use of chemistry) and then remove an object from the maze without directly touching it. A group from Montrose School handled the latter part of the challenge by devising a Rube Goldberg-style device to remove their object. Students also added a theatrical component and narrative to link their list of tasks.

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Montrose students had participated in an Instant Challenge Club at their school, started by teacher Murray Mandzuk. Eventually, the group decided to participate in Destination Imagination.

“I joined this because I like making stuff and thinking quickly on the spot,” said Montrose student Liam Santa.

When a cracked plastic cup threatened the chemistry section of their challenge Montrose students didn’t panic.

“You can’t feel bad when things don’t go the way you planned, you just have to keep on going,” added fellow Montrose student Ewan Mitchell. “We do a lot of training and our team is very creative.”

Improvisational skills and persistence are just some of the character-building traits that Destination Imagination nurtures.

“Destination Imagination builds the Four Cs: critical thinking, creative thinking, communication and collaboration,” said Shauna Cornwell, WSD’s Enrichment and Innovation Consultant and Destination Imagination’s Manitoba Affiliate Director. “There’s also building problem-solving and resilience. If something goes wrong, you’re not panicking. You rebuild based around what you know and try again. All of these are 21st century skills that the job market is looking for.”

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