School News

Destination Imagination at Maharishi School: Creativity for the Careers of Tomorrow

Maharishi School is a college preparatory day and boarding school in Fairfield, Iowa.  One of the top boarding schools in the Midwest, Maharishi School offers top-notch academics, a diverse and inclusive student body, a wide variety of extracurricular activities, and a holistic-health curriculum that includes yoga, meditation, and organic food.

“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . . using technologies that haven’t been invented . . . in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”
Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, “Shift Happens”

 

Ray Kurtzweil, computer scientist, inventor, and author, sums up his view of our world’s future in the following quote: “An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” It’s a dizzying, yet believable perspective that leads to an obvious question – how can we prepare children for a future in this new and ever-changing world?

Students at Maharishi School can answer that question for you! In order to compete and be successful in the careers of tomorrow our children need the ability to adapt quickly by combining creative and logical thought, as well as the capacity to utilize their full intellectual and creative potential. One way we inculcate those competencies in our students is through a ground-breaking international program called Destination Imagination.

Destination Imagination, one of our most popular after school offerings, is the perfect opportunity for students to stack functions and make the most of their time by combining academic subjects with hands-on projects. Since DI is a self directed activity (adults are present but don’t give advice or assistance on the projects), kids have the opportunity to improve teamwork, communication skills, and conflict resolution on their own, without parents or teachers telling them how to manage. This is excellent preparation for future careers, where graduates will be expected to use "soft skills" to work in teams and turn obstacles and challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.

Maharishi School is a college preparatory day and boarding school in Fairfield, Iowa.  One of the top boarding schools in the Midwest, Maharishi School offers top-notch academics, a diverse and inclusive student body, a wide variety of extracurricular activities, and a holistic-health curriculum that includes yoga, meditation, and organic food.DI teams can choose challenges in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts, then compete at the state, national, and global levels. This year Maharishi School has six teams going to the global competition in Knoxville, Tennessee. Let’s hear from a senior whose team will be in attendance!

Interviewer: Briefly describe your project – what was the challenge and how did your team go about deciding what you wanted to do?

Phillip Winer: Our challenge this year was to create a skit about a color disappearing from a world, and in that skit there needed to be a technical disappearing act and a colorful character. We decided that we wanted to have all of the characters in our story be colors, so we decided that we were all going to be crayons. Since one of our teammates is really into history and specifically the Russian revolution, we decided to write our skit about the USSR right after the Russian revolution.

Interviewer: How did you accomplish the disappearing act?

Phillip: That’s been quite a rollercoaster of exploring different ideas. Originally we used lighting as a metaphor for the color disappearing which was a metaphor for a person dying. Now we have built a fake elevator and the illusion of an elevator collapsing. The roof collapses because of a computer interaction that turns motors and collapses the roof.

Interviewer: How did your skit go over at the state level?

Phillip: It went quite well at the state level, one of our main goals for this DI season was to create a skit that we thought was high quality theater and still fulfill all the requirements well. I think at the state level our effort really showed. We wrote several songs to turn our skit into a musical, and the disappearing act was quite successful and dramatic, we pulled it off just barely!

Interviewer: Are you going to globals this year?

Phillip: We are going to be traveling to Knoxville, Tennessee to compete at the global level with maybe 60 other teams from around the world in this challenge.
 

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