Excitement buzzes around the room like a jolt of electricity as kids from all over Maryland wearing colorful tee shirts and crazy hats file into the gym at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
They are not there to see a sports team or a concert. The kids—ranging in ages from eight-18—are there to hear if their team is moving ahead to the next level, Globals. They are part of Destination Imagination (DI).It is a STEM based, collaborative problem solving organization that imparts 21st century skills to Kindergartners through Twelfth graders.
The heat rises as the announcer takes the stage and begins the awards ceremony. Teams have worked hard over the past few months on one of DI’s six main challenges: Fine Arts, Scientific, Technical, Engineering, Service Learning, or Improvisational, and waiting until their particular challenge’s results are announced is a test in patience.
Cheers rise across the stands as teams are called to the front to receive their first, second or third place awards. Those that place qualify to move on to the next level. The St. Michaels campus sent ten teams to States and a record number, six qualified for Globals.
In previous years, Globals was held in Tennessee, but this year, it’s been moved to Kansas City, MO. So even though six teams qualified to move forward, due to financial constraints, only three are able to go—two elementary level teams (DI, Inc. and 7 DImesnsions) and one senior level team (DIoxribonnucleic Acid).
Now those three teams are in need of the community’s help because it will cost close to $30,000 to get them all to Kansas City. They have already held one fundraising event and plan to host two more.
Look for a table of baked goods on the lawn at St. Luke’s Methodist Church in St. Michaels on April 27th during the Wine Festival. And the kids will be washing all the pollen off cars on April 28th in the parking lot of Choptank Electric, also in St. Michaels.
For those who would like to help but are unable to make it to either of those events, DI has some ongoing fundraisers:
• A plant sale – order forms can be obtained by contacting Danielle Murphy at email@example.com and plants can be picked up on May 11th at St. Michaels Elementary School.
• Raffle tickets – will be available at all events with some really great prizes, or contact Patty Shreves at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Business sponsorships are available as well. For information contact Patty Shreves at email@example.com.
Or for those who would like to assist in getting the teams to Globals with a simple monetary contribution they may do so via:
• Venmo- Username: BayHundredDI
• Checks made payable to Destination Imagination and mailed to Sharon Rieck at 26698 St. Michaels Road, Easton, MD 21601
• Credit card donations can be called into Sharon Rieck at 410-253-2887
Destination Imagination is a great opportunity for kids to work as a team to solve problems in a creative and constructive way. Talbot County Coordinator and Team Manager, Sharon Rieck has seen these things first hand.
She says, “My passion for the Destination Imagination program has only grown over my 12 years of involvement. Not only have I seen its success in our younger children with building their self-confidence, learning to work with others and facing challenging problems head-on, but I’ve also seen its success in our graduating seniors.” She goes on to say, “As young adults, they use their learned DI skills to apply them in the real world by understanding what it takes to collaborate on a project, create expense reports and manage their time wisely and efficiently.”
Please consider donating to help celebrate the success of the program and the success of St. Michaels’ kids.