Education feature: Students take home wins in academics

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Students from Portales earned top honors Saturday at the Destination ImagiNation competition in Albuquerque.

Portales Junior High School finished second in two events, and Lindsey Elementary School’s third-grade team finished third and received the Renaissance Award.

“The students at Lindsey came in third in the Central Challenge,” Lindsey teacher Laura Kaiser said. “They also received the Renaissance Award, which basically shows honor to students who go out of their way to complete the task following all of the criteria. Portales Junior High won its awards for Central Challenge, so Portales did very well.”

In the Central Challenge, teams chose a problem and followed specific details to complete the problem.

Lindsey Elementary School produced a music video based on a piece of literature, writing their lyrics and choreographing it with either a grand entrance or grand exit. They had six minutes to perform, and they had to make everything.

“It is 100 percent student driven; they cannot have any outside help,” Kaiser said. “They have different problems to choose from, and they complete against everybody in the state.”

Portales Junior High received second place in the Literary History music video competition and the “Private DI” event, which involved a play with a sleuth. For building a working sling shot and for following criteria for that project, the students earned the Renaissance Award.

Portales Municipal Schools earned third place in the Operation Cooperation event.

“It is just a way for the students to learn how to work together, do problem-solving and do things they are normally not allowed to do in a classroom,” Kaiser said of Destination ImagiNation. “Being in a classroom, it is much more structured, where this program allows them to be more creative. The students really, really enjoy it.”

In Portales, students participate in Destination ImagiNation as part of the Gifted and Talented program.

Phoebe Privett, the mother of two students in Gifted and Talented, said she likes the program because it is something fun for the children to do instead of being in class all day. Lindsey has been competing in Destination ImagiNation for three years.

Special Student Services Director Terri Warnica said Gifted and Talented “is a way to challenge students with a very superior IQ, and that’s what they have to have in order to get into the program.”