A team of four students from Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School finished fourth in the world at the latest Destination Imagination Global Finals held in Knoxville, Tennessee. More than 7,000 students on 1400 teams representing 21 countries participated in the world’s largest celebration of creativity. Teams spent 10 months preparing solutions to one of six challenges set by experts. Challenges range from technical and structural to fine arts and improvisation. The team from the Comox Valley had to identify something that was a problem in their community and somehow address it.
Do or D.I., the team of Matthew Black, Jacob Fussell, Michelle Ko, and Leanne Thieu, also known as Team Anotiv, recognized that their school suffered from a perennial problem with communication about school events. To address it they designed and created a computer application that transmits key information for activities students are part of or should know about. Since designing the App, they have had all three local High Schools sign on and have more than 1,000 students using the App.
This was Black’s fifth Global Finals, in addition to participating as part of the Canadian team at two Beijing invitational tournaments. He received a U$1000 scholarship as one of four DI Scholars Internationally, received a U$1,500 scholarship for a marketing project that was selected, and a $500 BC scholarship for embodying the DI spirit. It was Fussell’s fourth Global Finals, with one visit to Beijing as part of the national team. For Ko and Thieu it was their first year of participating in Destination Imagination.
In addition to their Team Challenge, this group of innovative critical thinkers had to solve a challenge set on site in a finite amount of time. Their solution third best score of those attempting the challenge. Destination Imagination is an international program that helps students develop critical and creative thinking skills; collaboration, teamwork and project management skills; resilience; innovation; and communication skills: core goals of the BC curriculum in preparing students for their futures. Teams from the Comox Valley have developed an enviable reputation over the past six years of participation in the Destination Imagination program and are often asked to provide support to others. The team of Thieu, Ko, Fussell, and Black, managed by teacher Catherine Akerley, added to that well-earned reputation.