At next month’s Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City, Mo., the Monadnock Region will be well represented, with teams from four local schools heading to the international competition.
Following the state tournament on March 30, teams from Conant High School in Jaffrey, Jaffrey Grade School, Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey and St. Joseph Regional School in Keene qualified to move on, with St. Joseph sending two teams.
The competition is divided into technical, science, arts, improvisation, service learning and early learning challenges. In their chosen category, each team must complete a long-term challenge and an “instant challenge,” which requires them to complete a task or solve a problem on the fly.
For some students, such as Monadnock senior Collin Ellsworth, this won’t be the first trip to the Global Finals. In fact, this will be his third.
“I’m really excited to kind of round out my last year as a global finalist, and just really show the experience that I’ve gained and the knowledge I’ve gained from doing this awesome event,” Collin said.
At the state competition, the Monadnock team took first in the “heads up” improvisational challenge category, which required the students to research and portray figureheads featured on coins from around the world. They were given a scenario and had to improvise the scene, not to mention being thrown a curve ball during their performance called a “flip,” which added an additional requirement.
The students prepared by creating their own scenarios and flips and practicing getting into character, Collin said.
“We’ve learned a lot of problem-solving skills over the years, and especially with instant challenges,” said senior Olivia Stanley, “because in instant challenges we have to think on our feet and really be able to manipulate materials and things like that.”
Schools in the Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District have also consistently sent teams to the Global Finals, according Bridget Wold, Destination Imagination coordinator for the district and a team manager for the Jaffrey Grade School team.
The elementary school students took second place in the “medical mystery” science challenge, in which they researched diseases and created a skit about diagnosing an illness, she said.
“They have to work together, and a big thing about Destination Imagination is working together as a team — getting along, sharing ideas, and helping each other achieve the best possible solution,” Wold said.
St. Joseph Regional School Principal Christopher Smith said there will be a celebration for the teams that competed at the state tournament on April 17, where the students will perform their challenges again for the entire school.
Smith said the school is thrilled to have two teams going to the finals this year, and commended the students for their hard work.
“It’s more work after school, and really only being guided by the adult in the room, (who is) not in any way trying to provide answers for them,” Smith said. “So I think it really opens their mind into thinking about things in different ways and looking at problems from different perspectives.”
The Destination Imagination Global Finals are May 22-25 in Kansas City, Mo.
Keene high club to host senior citizen dance
On April 13 from 2 to 5 p.m., the Keene High School Key Club will host its 11th annual Senior Citizen Dance in the high school’s cafeteria. The theme for this year’s free event — which will feature music from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s — is “masquerade.” Attendees will enjoy live music by the Residential Band, refreshments and door prizes.
It is the main annual event of the KHS Key Club, which is a Kiwanis youth group dedicated to community service projects.
Deadline for Dunkin’ scholarship nears
The application deadline is approaching for the Dunkin’ New Hampshire Scholarship Program. This year, the program will award $2,500 scholarships to 12 Granite State students.
The program is open to high school seniors who live in New Hampshire and plan to enroll in a four-year, two-year or community technical college to study business or food service-related fields, such as hospitality, culinary arts or nutrition. Current Dunkin’ Donuts employees are encouraged to apply.
The N.H. Charitable Foundation will review the applicants and select the award recipients. All applicants will also be considered for the foundation’s other scholarships.
Applications are available at www.nhcf.org/scholarships. The deadline to apply is April 12 at 5 p.m.
Funds available for elementary math teachers
School districts have until April 12 to apply for professional development funds from the N.H. Department of Education for elementary mathematics educators. A total of $250,000 is available through the department’s Division of Learner Support.
The money must be used to improve student achievement by teaching educators how to apply best practices and promote continuity in math concepts from one grade level to another.
“This is a great opportunity for administrators to access funds to assist educators in targeting their approach to teaching mathematics to some of the state’s youngest learners,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut in a news release. “Laying strong math foundations early in a student’s learning and equipping our teachers to be more effective as math instructors will pay strong dividends for future achievement.”
After the funds are awarded, they must be spent by Sept. 30. The department said applications were mailed to N.H. superintendents.