School News

Eight New Indian School Teams to Compete at Destination ImagiNation Global Finals

41 New Indian School students came home State Champions from the Destination ImagiNation (DI) State Finals in Ames on April 6th. Out of the 12 teams from New Indian School, 8 teams placed 1st and 2 teams placed 2nd. Iowa will send 15 teams to DI Global Finals, the largest creative problem-solving competition. More than 16,000 students from 30 countries converge on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus for a week of competition beginning May 21.

Destination Imagination is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to “encouraging teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus, and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts, and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process.”

New Indian School participants are passionate about DI and can hardly wait to start every October. Long-term challenges can have theatrical, structural, improvisational, scientific or technical focuses. Teams also have a chance to use their skills and teamwork in the Instant Challenge part of the program where they are tested to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions in 3-8 minutes. Unlike many other schools, at New Indian School the program is open to any student. The season begins with forming teams and having fundamental sessions where the kids brainstorm ideas for solutions and do team-building exercises. The DI season goes until mid-April, or if a team gets the opportunity to compete at Global Finals, the end of May.

New Indian School has a rich history with DI since it began in 1999. Many teams have won State Championships every year and competed at Global Finals, often placing in the top 10 and even taking 1st place out of 70 teams competing in a given category. Participants love to come up with innovative solutions to which no adult can offer input. It’s very empowering to a kid to have total control over their ideas.They also develop important team-building skills. Participants learn to unleash their imaginations in approaching challenges, they develop lifelong critical thinking skills.

Global Finals Team Members and Their Clever Team Names
This year there are 2 Elementary teams: Once Upon a Time: Lucianna Miller, Chase Winer, Emily Winn, Jada Sparks, Hana Martlin, and Shristi Sharma. The Gravity Defying, Bicycle Riding, Biscuit Eating, Bugged Eyed Baboons that Went Kablooie Last Night: Benji Boucherle, Luke Teeple, Bodhi McNamara and Sam Leahy.

2 Middle School teams: Caffeinated Cats: Loreena Hansen, Cecilia Faircrest, Bella Unger, Madelyn Stood, Ellie Mason, Alista Wikle and Beatrice Winn. Let’s Not and Say We Did: Dante Cingire, Andrew Wilson, Henry Mason and Roman Cenatori.

The High School teams: Non-Refundable, Not Negotiable, Not Subject to Change...Ow. My Brain: Avery Travis, Leanna Miller, Anna Unger, Zhou Haijun (Queena), Gou Qianqian (Cathy) and Amanda Valentine. In Latex: Laser Nite, Avi Marks, Vinit Suganur, Michael Corazza and Jacob Moreno. On The Fly: David Wadsworth, Nathaniel Zhu, Tomas Bousquet and Perry Appin. We Couldn’t Care Less: Doga Ozesmi, Giovanni Cingire, Marcus Schoenfeld, Gabe Sperry and He Yuandi (Simon).

How to Support the DI Teams:

  • Mothers Day Roses - order from a DI champion or Katrin Unger [email protected] by May 3 for delivery May 11 - $22 doz. / $15 half doz. red or pastel
  • Garage Sale May 4th - 1600 S. Main St.
  • Showcase, Dinner, Silent Auction May 18th - 6:30, New Indian School auditorium

There are many expenses involved in sending the teams to Tennessee. The kids are currently selling roses for Mother’s Day, collecting items for the Annual Garage Sale on May 4th and will Showcase their challenges on May 18th with an a la-carte dinner and silent auction. Typically each team member going to Global Finals has to raise $1,200 to cover all expenses for the week of competition. If you would like to support any of the families please make a donation at Please check the box for Destination ImagiNation and type in the student’s name in the Inspired by box. Non-profit donations for all our teams can also be made at that website.

Global Finals 2013 will feature more than 1,200 of the top-scoring Destination ImagiNation teams from around the world. Live video updates, interviews and photos from Global Finals 2013 will be published from the event and can be viewed at

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