By Dave Ongie, News Editor
On May 22, it will be Ashley Academy vs. the World, and the kids who will represent the school in the global Destination Imagination competition next month in Kansas City, Missouri, can hardly wait.
“I still can’t comprehend that,” said third-grader Crawford Lilavivat, who will be representing the school in the global competition. “It’s quite a bit to swallow.”
The Ashley Academy students on the “Under One Roof” team certainly didn’t bite off more than they could chew when they went to the Destination Imagination state competition in Nashville recently. The team – which includes Lilavivat, Channon Koens, Zakariya Awan, Darian Azima, Charlotte Hallenbeck-Huber and Atticus Briehl – won the state title after putting in months of hard work to prepare.
This year over 150,000 students from around the world competed in tournaments in hopes of earning a trip to Kansas City. The kids from Ashley Academy will be among the 8,000 students on 1,400 teams with an opportunity to compete in the global event.
Destination Imagination creates project-based learning opportunities that blend STEM education with the arts and social entrepreneurship. Its academic challenges are student-directed and are designed to teach kids how to think, not what to think. Teams that participate have the opportunity to present their solutions at regional and state tournaments.
Starting last August, the students at Ashley Academy built a structure, which made an appearance on the Habitat for Humanity float in the Johnson City Christmas parade. The “Under One Roof” team then had to come up with a skit tying in the construction project.While fourth-grade teacher Scott McIlquham and his fellow teacher Mayram Awan served as co-team managers of the team, it was up to the students to complete the project, write the skit and complete all the other elements involved in preparing for regional and state competitions.
“When we first learned about Destination Imagination, it was an easy decision to put together a diverse team of talented young minds who were sure to excel in such a competition,” Awan said. “Each student brought a variety of skills to the challenges set before them.”
The students say the experience has taught them a lot.
“It helped me improve my public speaking, creativity and how to work well with and encourage others,” Azima said.
The global competition will run from May 22-25.