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Team Sleep is Not Mandatory is pictured with its buddy team from Turkey during the Destination Imagination global finals May 22-25.

Two Blaine High School teams placed in the top 10 finishers in their categories at the Destination Imagination global finals.

On May 22-25, 1,190 teams from 38 states and 17 countries gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to compete in challenges in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), fine arts, service learning and improvisation.

Of the 50 teams representing Minnesota at the Global Finals competition, three placed in the top 10 of their categories, and two were from the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

The Blaine High School team Sleep is Not Mandatory took eighth place in the scientific challenge. The other local top 10 finisher was Blaine High School’s It All Starts With the Socks, which took 10th in the secondary level engineering challenge.

The following teams placed at the elementary level: Madison Elementary’s team Bull’s Eye placed 48th in the technical challenge; Rum River Elementary’s team The Kernels took 19th in the engineering challenge; and Struck By Creativity, from Eisenhower Elementary, took 35th in the service learning challenge.

Five local teams placed at the middle school level. Oak View Middle School’s team From Another Planet tied for 11th place in the engineering challenge; Yes And ..., from the Lighthouse School in the Spring Lake Park School District, took 17th in the improvisational challenge.

Roosevelt Middle School sent three teams. Board Stiff and Cool Name Pending took 23rd and tied for 39th respectively in the engineering challenge. Zesty Italians tied for 32nd the scientific challenge.

Anoka-Hennepin’s team Bear-ly Functioning tied for 28th in the secondary level of the engineering challenge, and Sticky Hippos, from Blaine High School, took 31st in the secondary-level fine arts challenge.

Destination Imagination is a creative problem-solving competition based around six challenges that are new each season. Teams of two to seven students can choose among fine arts, service learning, engineering, technical, scientific and improvisational challenges. Each challenge is composed of four age levels for a total of 24 categories.

In Minnesota, Destination Imagination participants first compete at their regional tournament. The top finishers in each category advance to the Minnesota State competition. From state, if a team places in the top three of their category, they advance to the Global Finals Competition.

Global Finals is not just about competing for a spot on the scoreboard, but about forming relationships with people from around the globe. One of the most memorable experiences that the team Sleep is Not Mandatory had was buddying up with a team from Istanbul.

“It was awesome to meet new people from around the world and gain a new understanding of cultural differences,” Gabrielle Meyers said. “We got to learn more about each other and are going to keep in touch via social media.”

The event culminated Saturday, May 25, in a closing celebration where the top 10 teams in each category had their names revealed on the big screen. Following the awards, the audience watched a laser light show and fireworks.


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