A total of 39 teams from Midlothian ISD competed in the Destination ImagiNation competition for the Greater Fort Worth region last month. Out of the 16 groups that medaled, six are advancing to the state competition including one team that hopes to defend its global title from last year.

Two teams from Dolores McClatchey Elementary School and four teams from LaRue Miller Elementary School advanced to the state championship. 

The Broadway Burritos, a team of fourth and fifth graders, took on the fine arts challenge and produced an original fairy tale musical with original songs and a technical scene change that portrayed the story's change of plans.

The Pickle Unicorns, a second-year team of fifth graders, also advanced to state after winning second place in the improvisational challenge. In this challenge, "Treasure," the team had to explore cultural treasures, historical explorers and come up with a five-minute skit on the spot to tell the story of these explorers as they encounter a setback on their journey.   In addition, Blair Bryant, a fourth grade DI participant from Mt. Peak Elementary's Nerdy Narwhals team, is a finalist in the Destination Imagination Pin Contest for Global Finals. Her artwork was selected from among hundreds of entries. The voting is open online and will run through March 18, 2018.  VOTE HERE LaRue Miller Elementary School had about one-third of the district’s participants and four teams moving onto state, including the defending global champions.

“These learners and their team managers are amazing,” LaRue Miller Elementary Principal Shannon West said. “Countless hours of work along with struggle and frustration have resulted in dynamic results for these teams. They have learned that they are better together. Creation, collaboration, communication and critical thinking are clearly evident in each piece of the work these DI teams completed.”

The defending global champions, DI-Nomyte DINOS, are headed to the state competition after the group of fourth-graders took on the service-learning project. The second-year team together raised nearly $2,000 selling friendship bracelets and receiving community donations.

Proceeds are going toward purchasing a “Buddy Bench” for Miller Elementary. The team also hosted Friendship Week in November to remind kids to be kind and end bullying.

The DI Fighters competed in the fine arts challenge and are now moving onto state. The team is made up of third and fifth graders. With their challenge, the team had eight minutes to perform a musical in an 8-foot-by-10-foot space. During the play, the team had to create a scene of some kind and have a technical scene change during the performance.

The Midlo-Dreamers worked on the scientific challenge and scored high enough to move onto the state competition. The team of fourth and fifth graders wrote a script, which starred a caveman and dinosaurs. They built a whack-a-mole game to combat Ugg, the lead caveman’s “hangry” attitude.

Also on their way to the state competition from Miller are the Thunder Chickens, who competed in the technical challenge. The group of first through third graders built a maze and maze traveler to navigate through. The students also had to create a device that would remove an obstacle from the maze, and add in a prop that transforms yet relates to the story. The team had a total of seven minutes to complete this task.

The teams have prepared for the competition since September 2017 for the on-site challenges. Each group chose one out of six challenges to master for the competitions.

Teams are also scored based on the "instant challenge" that is completed in a private room with specific rules. During the instant challenge, students do not have the opportunity to prepare beforehand. Five teams also won the "highest instant challenge" medals which are only awarded to the top team in each category.

Through both challenges, teams used critical thinking skills, listening skills, teamwork, strategy and theatre skills to get the judges’ attention.

The students compete in the state tournament at Mansfield High School and Timberview High School on April 7. The global tournament has more than 8,000 students competing from 15 countries around the world in Knoxville, Tennessee on May 23 — 26, 2018.

Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450