Reader-submitted content: Students compete at Destination Imagination

What do missions involving mythological creatures, storytelling techniques, poetry, science, technology, and smashing structures have in common? It’s Destination Imagination.

Portales Schools’ gifted/talented students explored these worlds with great interest and intensity. The Gifted and Talented program at Portales schools involves students from third through twelfth grades. While Destination Imagination is only a small part of the activities these students are involved in, it is one they look forward to each year. They are required to tap into a variety of skills and talents, including performance, research, science, technology, creativity, problem solving, and team building.

There were five teams, from fourth to eighth grade, under the direction of Mrs. Katrina Prince that prepared for several weeks in order to participate in the competition on March 5, held at Albuquerque Academy. There were 112 teams participating from across the state. With the possibility of seven students per team, that’s a lot of quick thinking, creative, and highly energetic people converging on Albuquerque.

Portales Schools’ teams did well and brought home first, second, and third place awards. The two junior high teams were also given DaVinci awards for the demonstration of outstanding skill in design, engineering, or performance. One team, comprised of fifth- and sixth-graders, Brains to the Power of Infinity, is now eligible to compete in Global Finals in May, after having received a first place award. This team participated in the structure challenged where they were required to build a structure that met certain criteria and test it for weight bearing strength. Their 19.5-gram structure held 200 pounds before the time limit ran out.

There were several parent volunteers that traveled with the teams and were an integral part of the teams’ successes. Parent involvement is very important in a child’s education and this was just one opportunity for these parents to participate in their child’s educational processes. Aall of the parents who assisted are appreciated.

The team work and camaraderie that the students who participated in the program exhibited was amazing. Congratulations, Destination Imagination teams.