Full STEAM ahead

Chris Tucker, ctucker@ptleader.com
Posted 4/25/17

“Monk E. Incorporated,” a team of five Chimacum Middle School students, has realized its dream to advance to a top science, technology, engineering and art and math (STEAM) tournament.

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Full STEAM ahead

Posted

“Monk E. Incorporated,” a team of five Chimacum Middle School students, has realized its dream to advance to a top science, technology, engineering and art and math (STEAM) tournament.

The team is composed of students Ava Amos, Esther Gleeman, Eugenia Frank, Viola Frank and Moe Gardner. They are set to attend the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, May 24-27.

“It is a big deal for a local team to be heading to Globals,” said Anna Phillips, parent and team manager. She said the Globals tournament was like making it to the Olympics. The students have outperformed other teams from larger, better-funded schools in Seattle and Bellevue, she said.

It is the third team from Chimacum in 20 years to make it to the global competition, she said.

Destination Imagination is an international program that inspires students to solve problems creatively, emphasizing teamwork and cooperation. It also teaches organization, sportsmanship, brainstorming, theatrical and technical skills, independence, leadership and improvisation. Teams choose “challenges” that feature complex problems with many specific requirements, and they work for months on their solutions.

HELP COVERING COSTS

The team is seeking donations from the community to help cover the $12,000 cost of airfare, housing, meals, ground transportation and registration.

“We’re definitely going to go, one way or another,” Phillips said of their fundraising goal. “These kids worked way too hard not to go.”

The five students are part of the Pi experiential learning program at Chimacum Middle School. They have been together for three years and have worked every year to improve their solutions and to represent Jefferson County at the regional and state tournaments. The team has been to the state tournament three times. At the state tournament April 1 in Wenatchee, the team advanced to the global tournament.

This year the team chose the tournament’s “Scientific Challenge.” Team members were asked to create and present a story about a secret mission; research and apply methods from cryptography and steganography to reveal secret messages; design and create a gadget that appears to be an everyday item; create and integrate a disguised character into the story; and create and present two “Team Choice Elements” that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength and talents.

STEAM SOLUTIONS

The team’s chosen elements were singing/songwriting and gymnastics. Their elegant and integrated STEAM-based solution combines science, humor, music and artistic design into an eight-minute presentation that wowed the appraisers and audiences at both the regional and state tournaments.

Attending the Global Finals is more than a competition. It is an opportunity for local students to represent the community at a world-class event and to experience the highest level of competition the program has to offer, Phillips said.

The team is to compete with students from 15 countries and will share what its members have learned from the experience with their fellow students, inspiring them to excel and reach out into the world, she said.

Donations may be made directly to the students through a web-based fund they have established at donationto.com/Global-Destination-Imagination-Final or mailed to Chimacum Middle School, 91 W. Valley Road, Chimacum, WA 98325.

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