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Destination Imagination teams sweep regional tournament

Pagosa Springs schools’ five Destination Imagination teams did it again.

All five qualified for state competition at the Regional DI Tournament.

Thirty-two teams from 12 schools in southwest Colorado gathered at Escalante Middle School in Durango last Saturday, March 20.

Pagosa Springs fielded four middle level teams and one high school team in three rehearsed Central Challenges and spontaneous, problem-solving Instant Challenges. By the end of a very long day, Pagosa’s five teams received four first places, one close second place, a Da Vinci Award, and a Renaissance Award.

The junior high Backtrackers and the high school Imaginators V both chose the challenge involving robotic technology. Students designed and operated robotic devices to accomplish a specific task in their eight-minute performances. Their elaborate sets and integration of scene changes into their storytelling resulted in jaw-dropping success. Both placed first in their age levels.

The Imaginators V is a seasoned team in their fifth year of DI. The Backtrackers are four-year DI devotees who choose to change their team name every year. The Backtrackers’ brilliantly costumed robot narrator won the team a coveted Da Vinci Award, the only one given at Regionals.

Puppetry was the choice of the Xtreme Menagerie of Minds and the DI Nerds, both with three years’ experience. The students designed and made a puppet that acted as a central character in their original stories. A character’s “flip,” or change of viewpoint, was written into the solutions to this challenge. The complex, detailed moving sets impressed both appraisers and crowds. Each team created a sculptural work of art during their performance. The Nerds took first place and the Xtremes followed with a close second. The Nerds’ museum elevator, constructed from cast-off materials, won them a special Renaissance Award, the only one given that day.

Improvisation with no props and no costumes was the challenge of the DIeinsteins, a second-year team. These middle level students used synergistic teamwork to solve and to act out the dilemma of an endangered animal, a stereotypical stock character, an unimpressive super power, even invisible props and scenery. The result was a first place trophy.

Pagosa’s 35 Destination Imagination students and 11 committed adult leaders now prepare for traveling to the state tournament in Denver, April 16-18. Any community member or organization wishing to support this uniquely enriching school project can contact the district coordinator at 264-2794, Ext. 483.