Sixth-Grade Students Take Top Marks at Destination Imagination

Norfolk Collegiate sent two, sixth-grade teams — the Fizzards Adam Siebert, Blaike Hill, Mitchell Snyder, Myles Johnson and Tony Kremenchugski — and the Weekend Warriors Caroline Campbell, Flynn Dalton, Julia Carlsmith, Justin Burrough, Sarah Bartlett and Zack McDonough — competed in the Destination Imagination Virginia Division Tidewater Regional Tournament.

The competition, held on Feb. 24 at Princess Anne Middle School, was an exciting day of thinking and doing; the event is the culmination of months of trial and error for the teams.

Destination Imagination encourages students to have fun and take risks through creative, collaborative, STEM-based, problem-solving challenges. To prepare for the tournament, the students spent months building a structurally-sound contraption that underwent several, load-bearing tests on competition day.

Throughout the day,  students participate in different challenges, the first being the Instant Challenge which requires teams to engage in quick, creative, critical thinking. When teams went for a structural check, they realized they were missing two and a half inches of clearance for their structure, so with only an hour to spare, they made the fix and moved forward.

“We work well together under stress,” said Caroline.

For their final challenge, the teams had to integrate their structure into a story and perform a skit while dropping weights on their structure. The Weekend Warrior’s structure held 140 pounds, tying them for first place overall while the Fizzards took second.

“Our structure did really well during the last challenge, but then it fell apart backstage. That was surprising!” said Julia.

“After the tournament, I heard wonderful things about our students, especially about the way they behaved all day,” said coach and middle school teacher Claire Fornsel. “The judges were impressed by how well [Norfolk Collegiate students] work with each other and students from other schools.”

By the day’s end, both teams had qualified to move on to the state competition in March.