A group of third- and fourth-graders at Towne Meadow Elementary participated in the Destination Imagination Affiliate State Finals March 23 in Fishers. DI is a nonprofit that promotes hands-on learning through challenges that test kids’ creativity, problem-solving and project-management skills.
The Imagineers formed in September 2018. Members are Elliott Fingerhut, Caleb Aft, Ravi Patel, Holden Fingerhut, Allison Stogsdill and Navya Shah. The team competed in the March 2 regional academic tournament in the engineering challenge and advanced to the state finals.
“They have a group of materials they can choose from to build a structure that weighs less than 175 grams,” team manager Anjali Palvia Shah said. “They receive points on a multitude of criteria. They also have to create a skit that revolves around every challenge that is no longer than eight minutes long.”
The team worked for several months to come up with a plan for their structure. They went through about 15 test structures before completing the one used at the tournament.
“What I like about DI is the kids get team-building skills, the chance to apply skills that you might not learn in the classroom and learn how to work on a long-term project with a group of people,” Shah said. “They also get presentation skills and form friendships.”
Shah said the team chose the engineering challenge because they’re all interested in building things.
“The whole program is based on trying to encourage STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – with everyday thinking for the kids,” she said.
The team name was determined at one of the first meetings.
“They chose the engineering challenge and kind of played off of the name Destination Imagination. They put the two together to come up with the Imagineers,” Shah said.
For more, visit indiana-di.org.