28 Student Teams Take First Place at Destination Imagination’s Global Finals 2016

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Thank you to all of our teams who participated in the 2015-16 season of Destination Imagination! More than 1,400 teams from 21 countries competed in Global Finals 2016. Thanks to some of our top-placing Global Finals teams and Team Managers, you can read about the Challenge solutions that helped them take top honors at the international tournament.

Challenge Overview:
For the Technical Challenge, teams had to design and build a vehicle able to carry at least one team member across the presentation site multiple times, as well as change the vehicle propulsion system and the vehicle movement method during their presentation. The teams also had to write a script and present a story about change.

Team Name:
DI Affiliate:
Team Members:
Ian M., Brian M., Max C., Nate L., Selorm Q., Harrison M.
Team Managers: Neil McMahon and Gary McBride

Synopsis: For their skit, the team told the story of Leonardo Da Vinci, crime fighter.  Da Vinci’s alter ego, the Rat Man, keeps the streets of 15th century Venice safe until the Mongols show up to take over the town by cornering the Kebab market.  The police commissioner, Carlos, who also happens to be an 18″ tall head of cabbage thwarts Da Vinci’s efforts to stop the Mongol plot, so Da Vinci does his own investigation.  He discovers that Carlos is actually the criminal mastermind behind the Mongols crime spree, culminating in the final epic battle where Carlos transforms from a simple head of cabbage into Randy the Machoman Cabbage! an 8′ tall, muscle bound professional wrestler.  All ends well, and Da Vinci and the Mongols close out the skit at a pot luck, where Da Vinci brings a giant bowl of…. coleslaw.  Delicious!

Vehicle: The team’s vehicle made use of a transition that allowed them to switch from one movement method / propulsion system to the other without slowing down.  They used a monorail guidance system which also allowed the vehicle to use a series of “walkers” that pushed along the monorail.  Their vehicle went through many redesigns with the Global Finals version being the fifth version that was built from scratch.

*Interesting fact about the team – This is Cabbage’s fourth Global Finals win in their 6 years of existence.

Challenge Overview: For the Scientific Challenge, teams had to research the many ways that camouflage is used by organisms in nature and showcase their research in the visible appearance of an organism in their tournament presentation. The teams’ stories had to incorporate a plot twist that is caused by the use of camouflage and also had to apply camouflage methods to an original, team-designed and created set piece or prop.

Scientific-DIngosTeam Name: The DIngos
DI Affiliate: Indiana
Team Members: Annie J., Katelin B., Jacob C., Evan H., Evan P., Steven C., Stephan V.
Team Managers: Ken Conrad & Susan Conrad

Synopsis: After seven straight Global Finals together as a team, the DIngos from Fishers, Indiana won first place and a Renaissance award this year in the Secondary Level of the In Plain Sight. To come up with their winning solution, the DIngos spent many months brainstorming, testing, and creating the various elements of this challenge. Ultimately, they decided on presenting a twist on Romeo and Juliet that would take place in modern-day Cairo, Egypt.

For the team’s Cam-O, they created a mechanical shape shifting door that changed from an obelisk into a secret entrance.  The team was able to create this display of the camouflage technique of mimicry by crafting a hinge that rotated 360 degrees and four wooden triangles that folded in on each other to facilitate the transformation.  With the help of gravity, the Cam-O worked effortlessly in wowing the audience and appraisers.

The team’s attention to detailed construction continued into their creation of the Hipster.  They chose to build an Egyptian Nightjar by carving its body out of foam and then adding individually painted feathers to cover its body.  Not content with having just a visually accurate Hipster, the team designed an intricate zip-line system that propelled the bird across the stage in order to mimic its real-life flight.  In addition, the team designed the Hipster so its head could compress and extend, body could contract and grow, and feathers could open and stretch.  This bird truly came to life on stage and caused quite the plot-twist during the story.

For their Team Choice Elements, the team designed a two-sided set that provided the backdrop for both houses in the story and a chandelier that doubled as a trap.  The set seemed simple at first glance, but its complex design allowed the team to easily transition between scenes while having 3-D technical elements that added to the performance.  The chandelier combined the beauty of shattered marbles with the technical innovation of using an electromagnet to release a net that the team tied together themselves.

Altogether, this team’s tireless work paid off in the form of a detailed solution that showcased camouflage research and technical design at every corner.

Check out their Global Finals 2016 performance below:


Challenge Overview:
For the Fine Arts Challenge, teams had to present a mystery story set on Earth in a time period before 1990 and include a TechniClue that helps solve the mystery. During their performance, teams discovered (live on stage) which of the three suspect characters was responsible for the mystery. Teams also had to present in the style of traverse staging.

FineArts-TheCrumpettesTeam Name:
The Crumpettes
DI Affiliate:
Team Members: Ava D., Andie L., Dyllan L., Rebekah I., Kathleen M., Madison N., Yaretzi S.
Team Managers: Jeanette Lozano & Marisa Davies

Synopsis: The Crumpettes took a unique approach to the Fine Arts Challenge. Instead of classic “whodonit” detective mystery, they presented a play about the folklore and the mystery of fairy rings. Their idea was inspired by the Cottingley Fairy pictures from the Edwardian era (later proved to be a hoax).

Their mystery centered around three possible suspects… Fairies, Fungus, or Termites. An intrepid explorer investigates and, with the help of the team’s TechniClue…a robotic steampunk dog named “Sparky”, they reveal the true Mystery Maker- a ravenous Termite Queen and all her minions.

For their efforts, the Crumpettes received the Renaissance Award. This is what the appraisers had to say: “A mystical presentation with a termite mound that was so realistic, it was disgusting. We ate it up! Who knew something so disgusting could be so fun! When this team took the stage, they disappeared into their scenery and became the props! What sprung to life then was a complete mystery of nature. The termite suspect was so real that it creeped out the Appraisers. Every nook and cranny of this team’s presentation was amazingly integrated — grabbing every ounce of the Appraisers’ attention and teaching everyone things they didn’t know about the tremendous termite. We ate it up!”

Take a look at their Global Finals 2016 presentation:


FineArts-TrueOrFalseTeam Name: True or False
DI Affiliate:
British Columbia
Level: Middle
Team Members: Bianca G., Sophie F., Sophie B. and Zoe B.
Team Manager: Anna Galvin

Synopsis: Their Challenge required creating a mystery story, performed in traverse staging, set in a well-researched period of time before 1990, with three suspects, three potential endings, and a TechniClue (that uses scientific methods to help solve the mystery). They set their mystery performance in the Elizabethan era—specifically around the end of the era (1600), near the end of Elizabeth’s reign when Shakespeare was popular. They worked very hard to have every aspect of their performance true to the era.

The mystery story unfolded as follows: In a performance of Romeo and Juliet played for Queen Elizabeth I, Romeo is actually poisoned to death. Elizabeth demands to know what happened and investigates. She initially suspects the character who played the Apothecary as he gave the bottle to Romeo. The actor playing Juliet informs Elizabeth that the Apothecary was jealous of Romeo and bitter that he did not get the role of Romeo giving him a motive for murder. The Apothecary defends himself and points his finger at the props mistress Anne, who filled the bottle, and, was once in love with Romeo but then dumped by him. Elizabeth turns her attention to Anne until Anne points the blame at Juliet who has a punishable secret Romeo knew about. In the Elizabethan era it was a crime for women to act on stage. Juliet claims to be a boy playing a girl. But Anne claims that Romeo knew the truth – that Juliet is in fact played by a girl. Elizabeth finds all three suspicious until she gets advice from her “Cunning Man” Sir John Dee – an Elizabethan era detective (who actually existed in real life and was a spiritual adviser to Queen Elizabeth). They put his “Elizabethan detective” method of divining the guilty to work to discover the guilty suspect from the three. The guilty suspect also gives themselves away by correcting the Queen when she accuses them of using the wrong poison. “T’wasn’t hemlock, T’was arsenic!” Whoops!

Check out their performance at Global Finals 2016 below:


FineArts-KnightsOfTheHeptagonalTableTeam Name: Knights of the Heptagonal Table
DI Affiliate:
New York
Team Members: Keegan C., Caleb C., Noam E., Devon F., Zeyuan G., Brooke H., Brian Y.
Team Manager: Noam Eshed

Synopsis: When King Artful is faced with a sandcastle-building competition against Lord Isosceles to determine who will rule all of Britannia, he sends his three favorite Knights of the Round Table to go retrieve the famous Holy Pail, which is sure to help him win. The wizard Marlin narrates their travels after they found the pail, from the forest where they encounter the rival Knights of the Triangular Table to Prince Faming’s barn, through the city and finally back to the castle. Upon their return to the castle, the knights, Sir Tan, Sir Cumference and Sir Getful discover that the Holy Pail has gone missing and that one of them is responsible for the mystery! Did Sir Tan get distracted by his own charm? Did Sir Cumference have malicious intent? Did nobody realize how forgetful Sir Getful is? There’s only one way to find out!


Challenge Overview:
For the Improv Challenge, teams had to research confined spaces (provided in the Challenge), as well as create and perform a four-minute improvisational presentation within a confined space. Teams worked together to address a newsflash and integrated a mysterious stranger and team-created miscellaneous prop into their presentations.

Improv-TheAguagatesTeam Name: The Aguaguates
DI Affiliate:
Team Members: Santiago L., Alan Cohen, Luciana M., Camila V., Karen B., Nicole Van M., Maria Andrea L.
Team Managers: Sue Rosendale and Tracy Berry-Lazo

Synopsis: The Aguaguates, from Guatemala City, is a team made up of DI veterans.  This year was their first venture into the Improv category, however.  The skit that won them the Global Finals competition revolved around a group of people who had stolen the mummy from King Tut’s tomb and needed to figure out how to return it, since it was now stuck in a skyscraper that was sinking into the earth.  Thankfully, with the help of a hat seller and his magic hat, the characters were able to use a super-strong magnet to adjust the tectonic plates and stop the skyscrapers from sinking.

The team’s win was made even more special due the fact that they tied for first place with none other than their close friends—their buddy team from 2015’s Global Finals. Read their story here.

See their Global Finals Challenge solutions below:


Challenge Overview:
For the Project Outreach Challenge, teams had to identify, design, plan and carry out a project that addressed a real community need. Teams also had to carry out at least one community event designed to help meet their project goals, create an effective meme, and create a live presentation that highlighted their project and the impact it made on the community.

PO-TheCrewTeam Name: The Crew
DI Affiliate: Ohio
Level: Elementary
Team Members: James C., Annie D., James F., Patrick L., Finn M., Maeve R., and Iain R.
Team Manager(s): Kim Ray and Julie Meadows

Synopsis: Last fall, the Crew heard about refugees in the news and learned that that they lived near the 5th largest refugee city in the nation, Lakewood, Ohio.  Both Bay Village and Lakewood are western suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. The Crew contacted Lakewood Schools to find out how they could help the large refugee population, especially the kids. They learned that many of the refugee students receive free breakfasts and lunches. The Crew worried that the refugee kids wouldn’t have food to eat over the two-week winter holiday break and decided to raise money to help those students and their families.

The Crew wanted to do something creative for their fundraiser.  Inspired by the images of refugees carrying their belongings on their backs as the fled their homes, the Crew decided to hold a “Ruck for Refugees.” A ruck is the term the military use for “backpack,” and it’s also a military-inspired endurance event held by the GoRuck company where you wear a weighted backpack on a long hike and do physical training to increase endurance.  The Crew thought that holding a community rucking event would give participants a taste of the hardships the refugees had to endure.

Rucking for Refugees was a huge success. In spite of an unseasonable early snow storm, more than 60 people participated, and the Crew raised over $700 for the refugees. The event also helped spread the Crew’s meme. The Crew asked each participant to fill in the blank: “______ 4 Refugees” and then created a word cloud in the shape of a “4” with the responses. Among the inspiring examples were “love,” “shelter,” “food,” and “hope.” The Crew delivered the money and fruit baskets to two local refugee families from Burma and Iraq. The refugee families shared moving stories of fleeing their homes and were grateful as much for the chance to tell their stories as for the generous community donations.

Integrating everything they learned and the difficult stories they heard into an entertaining show was a real challenge, but the Crew managed to strike the right balance between representing this serious issue and keeping things engaging and entertaining.  They mixed an informative prezi with facts about the refugee crisis, a taped recounting of the Iraqi father’s story of ISIS raiding his home with some comedic elements describing the ruck event. These included a giant PVC horse that illustrated the challenge of explaining a “ruck.”

The Crew learned a lot from their project and were stunned to place first at Globals. They hope that their project and meme will help people around the world to come up with their own ideas for what they can “____ 4 refugees.”

Team Name: The Chubby Pigs
DI Affiliate: Nebraska
Level: Middle
Team Members: Elleiana, Alice, Isabelle, Parker, Vince, Ethan S., and Ethan N.
Team Manager: Misty Banks Noon

Synopsis:  After narrowly missing out on a trip to Knoxville in 2015, the team worked extremely hard to meet their goal of qualifying for Global Finals this season. For the third year in a row, the Chubby Pigs chose to tackle Project Outreach.  This year, the team really wanted to make a tangible difference in the community.  They decided to hold a park clean-up in an underserved part of town, calling their event “Clean Up the Park Before It Gets Dark.”  This catchy slogan became part of their meme, which also featured an original drawing of a smiling earth with a flower sprouting from the North Pole.  Always inventive, the Chubby Pigs named their earth Bartholomew and decided to make their Challenge performance center around the team’s quest to make Bartholomew a Happy Earth again.  Throughout the course of the performance, the Chubby Pigs showcased their transforming backdrop, in which a dirty park became clean; referenced graphs and data in Elleiana’s Handy Dandy DI Notebook; sang songs; and worked together to help Bartholomew go from sad and trash-covered to sparkling clean.

Achieving first place at Global Finals this year was absolutely amazing.  The team members spent countless hours researching, planning, creating, and practicing their Challenge solution, and sometimes it was hard to keep working, especially when the weather interfered with their community event. As with most things in life, however, the Chubby Pigs learned that overcoming challenges is what truly made them feel as though they had achieved success!

Challenge Overview: For the Structural Challenges, teams had to design and build a structure that was a musical instrument and could support weight. During their performance, teams had to play a musical solo using the structure, as well as integrate one musical character and the weight placement testing of the structure into their presentation.

Structural-TheBananaramasTeam Name: The Bananaramas
DI Affiliate: Texas
Level: Elementary
Team Members: Ryan Blake, Wyatt Edmiston, Luke Frazee, Sarah Frazee, Cooper Mascorro , Caden Sauley
Team Managers: Amanda & Jason Frazee
School Sponsor: Kim Cheek

Synopsis: The Bananaramas solved the Musical Mashup Challenge by using the 1980’s music genre as their inspiration. Each team member chose their own 80’s song and created their own instrument to define their character. Our team choice elements included a mountain that used hinges to fold up, inward and outward and a bird made out of upcycled materials. The structure was made out of balsa wood, glue and a straw. It weighed only 16.7 grams and held 935 pounds. Our musical character was a 1980’s rockstar who invented the kazoo. The structure was played as a kazoo and he played the popular 80’s song “Another One Bites the Dust” as the other characters danced along. To end our skit, we had a musical mashup with all of our instruments playing the song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The characters ended the skit by striking a pose that resembled the ending of The Breakfast Club while they waited for all the weights to be placed on the structure.

Check out their Global Finals 2016 performance below:


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