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Innovation leads four UCS teams to Global Finals of Destination Imagination
Innovation leads four UCS teams to Global Finals of Destination Imagination
Posted on 04/25/2019
Photos of two teams

After achieving top honors for creativity, teamwork and innovation in regional and state academic tournaments, four teams featuring Utica Community Schools students have earned the right to compete in Destination Imagination's Global Finals in May.

Bemis Junior High School, Collins Elementary, Messmore Elementary and a UCS South team have qualified to compete with other international teams in one of seven, open-ended challenges that require students to apply science, technology, engineering and math skills.

"Destination Imagination provides our students experiences outside of their classrooms that prepares them for success,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “This competition builds the skills our business partners need in their workforce – communication, problem solving, innovation and the ability to work in teams.”

The teams qualified for the global finals after earning top honors at that state DI tournament at Michigan State University earlier this month.

Destination Imagination is a blend of research and creativity. More than 1.5 million students have taken part in its acclaimed Challenge program.

This year alone, 150,000 students have participated in tournaments throughout the U.S. and 30 countries in hopes of earning a spot at the Global Finals competition.

The UCS students will be among the 8,000 students representing the more than 1,400 teams that are eligible to compete for the Global Finals in May.

Teams representing UCS include:

  • UCS South – This senior level team qualified for the international tournament after earning second in the state DI competition “Monster Effects.” The team consists of: Veronica Pardington, Hope Goss; Mary Kate Pardington, and Hallie Evans, of Stevenson High School; Ryan Verbrugge, of the Utica Academy for International Studies; and Paige Goss of Davis Junior High School. The coach is parent Kevin Verbrugge.
  • Bemis Junior High School – The four-member team placed first in the state competition “Heads Up.” Student team members are Mallory Sornig, Sarah Remsnyder, Samantha Yantus, and Niyah Reeves. The coaches are Jennifer Sornig and Jennifer Remsnyder.
  • Messmore- Students placed third in the “Monster Effects” competition. Team members are Elizabeth Joseph, Adiv Patel, Anaya Patel, Dylan Martin, Devin Martin, Lea Simjanovski, and Aleksandar Simjanovski. Coaches are Daniela Simjanovski and James Martin.
  • Collins – The team placed second in the “Monster Effects” competition at the state level. Members are Autumn Jones, Ellie Leaf, Brennen Tremaine, Cameron Jones, Abigail Tranchida and Thayer Nomie. Coaches are Ebru Jones and Lisa Tremaine.