ALERTS:
Search:
Skip Navigation LinksCherry Creek School District > District News > Student creativity and collaboration demonstrated at district DI tournament
Print this page

Student creativity and collaboration demonstrated at district DI tournament

students in a gorup working together on a structure made with straws and tape.They were huddled in a hallway at Grandview High School, oblivious to the noise and crowds around them, intently focused on the problem at hand: to build a freestanding structure out of six straws, a handful of toothpicks and a sheet of mailing labels in a matter of minutes.

With concentration and collaboration, the group of seven middle school girls succeeded in building a two-foot tower in the allotted time. That engineering challenge was just a warm-up for the group, which was preparing to compete in the Cherry Creek Schools Destination Imagination Regional Tournament, held at Grandview on March 19.

Destination Imagination is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas and respect for the collaborative problem solving process.

“DI is the largest creativity program in the world,” said Pearl Schwartz, DI regional director for Cherry Creek Schools. “The challenges are designed to teach kids how to think, not what to think.”

students dressed up in medieval costumes to enhance their creative presentation. Students are encouraged to look for unusual ways to solve problems and are required to develop and demonstrate their solutions on their own. Team parents provide moral support, but little else. The CCSD DI tournament is the largest regional tournament in the state, involving more than 700 elementary, middle and high school students on 144 teams.

Those teams compete in a variety of instant or spontaneous challenges as well as academic challenges that require several months of preparation. The Liberty team participated in the technical challenge called “Pace of Change,” which required them to:
•    Design and build a vehicle able to carry at least one team member across the presentation site multiple times.
•    Change the vehicle propulsion system and the vehicle movement method during the presentation.
•    Create and present a story about change. The story will include a change in a character.

students matching with purple and orange shirts pose for a picture with the red wagon they built from scratch. The Liberty team created a “walking machine’ in the form giant crab, which they made out of two-by-fours and other materials.

“We learned a lot about gears, pulleys, welding and power tools,” said team member Jori O’Grady.

But it wasn’t an easy process, which explains their team name – “There’s a fiasco in our presence and it’s very crabby.” The team spent about ten hours a week working on their project.

“It’s been a huge commitment for them,” said team parent Kevin Roethe. “The kids were strangers at first, but now they’re a well-oiled team. They’ve learned a lot of problem-solving skills. It’s really about working together as a team.”

Roethe is the parent volunteer for his middle school daughter’s team while his wife, Carrie, volunteers with their younger daughter’s elementary school team.

“We’ve become a DI family,” he said. “It’s an awesome program.”

students building props for their presentation in grandview's gym. Parent Tisha Smith agrees. Her daughter Lily is on the Canyon Creek Elementary team called the “Bloppy Rainbow Monsters.”

“I love to see the kids work together to come up with their own ideas,” Smith said. “They get to use their own skills. I absolutely love this program.”

And so do the kids, but for reasons more focused on fun and friendship than on 21st century skills.

“It’s fun to get to have a team,” said Kira Heidebrecht, a member of the Liberty “Fiasco” team.

The “Fiasco” team is one of 48 teams from Cherry Creek Schools that placed first, second or third in their category and earned the opportunity to compete in the Colorado DI Tournament on April 9 at the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. (Complete results of the CCSD Regional DI Tournament are available here.) Teams that place in the top three at state get to go on to the DI Global Finals May 25-28 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Posted 3/28/2016 12:24 PM
students in a group collaborate their ideas for their straw and tape project.



“DI is the largest creativity program in the world. The challenges are designed to teach kids how to think, not what to think.”

Pearl Schwartz, DI Regional Director, Cherry Creek Schools
Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

You are now leaving the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) portal. Please note that CCSD does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness, or appropriateness of any content contained on web sites and/or pages outside of the official CCSD portal. The information or opinions contained on these web sites and/or pages do not necessarily represent the views of the CCSD.

With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.