Five LRSD Destination Imagination Teams Advance to Global Finals

Imaginations ran wild on Saturday, April 6 at the Arkansas Destination ImagiNation (DI) State Championships in Benton, when five DI teams from three LRSD schools won first place and qualified to advance to the Destination Imagination Global Finals next month at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Three teams from Carver Magnet Elementary School, and one team each from Forest Heights Middle School and Gibbs Magnet Elementary School all had qualifying first place scores to compete against thousands of students from over 25 different countries from around the world at the Global Finals. 

Gibbs Magnet Elementary dominated overall with first place in three different categories—repeating the achievement of being the only school in the State Finals with three teams advancing to the Global Finals from last year. The categories were: Wind Visible, a scientific challenge; In Disguise, a fine arts challenge; and Real to Reel, a documentary film project meant to address a community need. In the fine arts challenge, Gibbs won the Instant Challenge and the Renaissance Award, a special recognition for exceptional skill in the area of engineering, design or performance. Last year, Gibbs emerged as the Global Winner in the scientific category beating teams from around the world.


For the sixth year in the row Carver Magnet Elementary School won first place at the elementary level for “In the Zone,” the most difficult category requiring a trifecta mastery of engineering, design and mathematical concepts. In fact, LRSD schools won at every level of competition in the highly technical “In the Zone” category with Forest Heights Middle School and J.A. Fair Magnet High School winning first place at their respective levels. Dunbar Magnet Middle School won the category’s Instant Challenge securing third place at the middle school level of “In the Zone.”  Only Forest Heights and Carver advance to Global in this category. 


Teams from Williams Magnet Elementary, Henderson and Mann Magnet Middle Schools also competed. In the scientific challenge, Wind Visible, Williams placed third and Carver placed fourth while Mann placed third and Dunbar placed fourth in the Twist-O-Rama structural challenge. Carver also placed eighth in the improvisational category, Change in Realitee. Hundreds of teams competed in the State Finals at Benton High School.


Destination ImagiNation, or "DI," is the "world's largest creative problem solving program for kids." DI promotes teamwork, problem solving, innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. It is an educational, inquiry-guided, after-school program that teaches students creative and critical thinking skills, teamwork, and other skills.


Teams of up to seven students must devise a unique solution to a challenge, which can have a focus that is theatrical, structural, improvisational, scientific, or technical. Teams must also demonstrate creative, quick-on-the-spot thinking skills to solve the Instant Challenge.  More than 100,000 students from over 30 countries participate in DI competitions every year.  


The teams must now begin fundraising efforts to subsidize the costs of sending teams to Knoxville. Anyone interested in supporting these exceptional young students can send a contribution marked "DI 2013" to Lori Altschul at Stephens Elementary, 3700 W. 18th St., Little Rock, AR 72204. 


For more information, contact Lori Altschul, GT Director, at 501-447-6492 or visit the Destination ImaginNation website at


(Genius Gibbsters/top left photo) left to right: Rhonda Adams, Team Manager; Olga Lyzogubova, Isabel Crawford, Zoe Evans-Funk, Franchelsa Franciso, Xander parker, Leah Kline, Milo Thompson (not photographed: Team Managers Charlotte Crawford and VP Parker)


(Gibbs Gizmos/top center photo) left to right, top to bottom: Sam Triplett, Artem Apostolove, Becket O’Brien, Juliana Pinson, Emily Pinson, Ben Pullen, Melina Wilkins, (not photographed: Jennifer Triplett  and Team Manager Jodi Pullen)


(Gibbs Go Green Team/top right photo) left to right: Cole Hadden, Helen Wedaman, Ava Horton, Dorothy Johnson, Hunter Ramsey, Adam Mann, Hay Henry, (not photographed: Team manager Kristin Mann)


(Carver/bottom left) left to right: Nand Mehta, John Swaim, Nathania Nischal, Madelynnmae Deluca, Seth Hyatt, and Andrew Helms


(Forest Heights/bottom right) left to right: Wyn Evans, Kyshaun Jones, Dylan Madden, Andrew Davault, Maria Seymore, Chassidy Barnes