Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy

63°F

Portland

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 65%

Wind: 10 mph

  • 23 Jul 2014

    Showers 63°F 55°F

  • 24 Jul 2014

    AM Showers 73°F 53°F


Imagine that! Bridlemile DI team plotted course for victory

Students win first place in global creative contest


by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Emma Jeffcock, twins Mia and Tavie Kittredge, Janelle MacPherson look at Neve Harrisons album of pins that she collected from other team at last year's Destination Imaginations Global Finals.Thirty-five minutes before the Bridlemile Elementary School students took the stage, their geodesic dome fell apart.

The carefully constructed prop was a major part of the six-minute skit they’d prepared for the team challenge at the Destination Imagination Global Finals competition, held

last week at the University of Tennessee.

The fifth-graders didn’t bat an eyelash: They promptly found some materials laying around and fixed it on the spot. They did the same when their cardboard backdrop broke a few minutes later, and when their mask fell apart just minutes before their start.

“She fell to the floor and said, ‘I need a box cutter, wire and wire cutters now,” says Twink Hinds, the team’s volunteer coach and mom to one of the girls on the team. “As we were being interviewed before we went on, she repaired that thing. It was hairy.”

Their performance came through, in a big way.

The Fiverbolts of Bridlemile took home a first-place win in the competition, beating out 76 teams from 12 countries in an ultimate test of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Oregon sent

14 schools from Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and other surrounding suburbs to the competition; teams had to raise the funds for travel and other expenses.

Considering that some school districts in states such as Texas include Destination Imagination in their curriculum and fund teams’ trips to the finals, it was amazing that Bridlemile pulled off such a big win, Hinds says.

The team challenge was to create a six-minute skit that told a story of transformation, without using words. The Fiverbolts (Neve Harrison, Tavie Kittredge, Mia Kittredge, Emma Jeffcock and Janelle MacPherson) had met weekly for the past seven months to practice their solution, which included building sets, sewing costumes and creating an original soundtrack.

They also practiced solving “instant challenges,” which are impromptu tests of their skills.

When the Fiverbolts showed up for their instant challenge, they were handed 60 marbles, a funnel (suspended in a hole in a table), 12 index cards and a spool of twine. They had six minutes to figure out how to pour the marbles into the funnel and keep them from dropping into the bucket.

The girls used the twine and index cards to build a spider web and slide, which sent the marbles spilling away from the bucket. When their six minutes of prep were over, they poured the marbles in at once and just four fell in.

On Tuesday, just after their return from Tennessee, the girls were brought on stage at school for a large round of applause from their classmates, and to answer questions about their big win.

Hinds hopes the accomplishment will help bring exposure and more support to Destination Imagination, which relies completely on volunteers, mostly parents, at each school.

“I’d really like to see this program be in some of the schools that are struggling, where they’ve lost teachers and students and money,” Hinds says. “This is a program especially for at-risk kids — it teaches total self-reliance and it’s all about the 21st-century skills that you need for life.”

For more information: http://destinationimagination.org/.