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Maple Grove Voice

Several ISD 279 DI Teams Earn Spots at State Competition

Apr 14, 2018 07:29PM ● By Wendy Erlien

Rush Creek Elementary Destination Imagination teams. (photo provided by Rush Creek Elementary TAG Specialist Laura Thompson)

After completing the Destination Imagination (DI) Regional Tournaments, several ISD 279 - Osseo Area Schools teams have earned top spots to go to the state competition April 21 at Jackson Middle School in Champlin.  

Destination Imagination is a creative problem solving challenge with the purpose to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Since November, teams have been working on their central challenge solution. Each challenge is open-ended and enables student teams to learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation. In working to solve their challenges, teams learn skills such as creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship and courage to build on their unique strengths.

Four Rush Creek Elementary are competing at the state tournament. For the category of Improv first place at regional tournaments went to “The Six Smarties" which includes team members Isabel Bauerly, Emma Roach, Sydney Manning, Will Raymond, Makayla Elkins, and Mady Nash.  

Second place for Improv was the “DI Dragons” which include Katherine Bearce, Wyatt Bjugstad, Kaitlyn Ganoe, Elsie Erickson, Mia Hellawell, and Madelyn Good.  

In the scientific category the “Kool Kangaroos” took third place. The Rush Creek students on this team include Livia Walseth, Leah Rimstad, Adrienne Pendergrass, Marissa Henning, Simone Roberts and Simona Roberts.  


The Rush Creek team “D’Incredibles” did a service project in partnership with Lord of Life Lutheran Church in which they made and distributed 92 blessing bags for the homeless. The team includes Aarthi Loganathan, Addison Sorbel, Raegan Fritts, Mollie Finn, and Isabella Stafford. 

All four teams at Rush Creek are coached by Laura Thompson and Liz Botkin.

Maple Grove Middle School Destination Imagination teams placed as well. In the middle level, the “seluR atosenniM” (“Minnesota Rules” spelled backward) team placed first and advanced to state. The scientific team includes students Eshwar Garlapati, Thomas Botkin, Brayden Kaiser,  Cecelia De Oliveira, Kat Klopotek, and Gautham Barani.   

Third place in Improvisation is the team of Mark Stanley, Daniel McCleneghan, Samuel Whetstone, Seth Derusha, Ryan Ault, Isaiah Johnson-Arugi, and Alex Campbell (not pictured).

Representing Maple Grove Senior and Osseo Senior High the “DIdeas Keep On Comin” placed first in the secondary level and are advancing to state for Fine Arts.   

The team consists of James Pipkin, Jess Bray, Adamson Novak, and Erin Besser. This team mentors other Osseo district teams and held an Instant Challenge workshop in January for younger teams to work on their problem solving skills. 

The secondary teams are coached by Jody Kinneberg, Haley Travis-Eull, Lucas Pedersen, Julia Fromm, and Liz Botkin.


The seventh grade Osseo Middle School team “They Didn’t Show Up” advanced to the State competition in the Fine Arts Challenge and include students Grace Marler, Emily Anose, and Mali Sargent and are coached by Shannon Sinkel.

The Brooklyn Middle School team “ 4 - - Alpha” competed at the Blaine Destination Imagination tournament and took first place in the scientific challenge “Unlikely Attraction.”  Team members include Grace Seifert, Abby Battan, Anna Carstens, and Katie Knox and are coached by Ben Seifert and Nathan Battan.

 Information and photos provided by Osseo Area Schools

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