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Wheaton Fifth Graders Win Destination ImagiNation State Tournament

A team of fifth grade students from Whittier Elementary School in Wheaton took first place in their division at the Destination ImagiNation Illinois State Tournament last Saturday.

A team of fifth grade students from Whittier Elementary School in Wheaton came in first place in their division at the Destination ImagiNation Illinois State Tournament on Saturday, April 14. This first place finish qualifies them to compete in the  Global Finals, which will be held May 23-26 at the University of Tennessee. The winning team, Culture Clash, includes Theo Banaszewski, Luke Fahey, Danny Hjellming, Mia Savicevic, Adela Sexauer, Cecilia Walker, and Jake Weber. These students competed in the DI fine arts challenge where they created and presented a movie trailer incorporating a cinematic special effect and an original soundtrack.

Team Dynamic Dynamite earned a trophy for their third place finish in the technical challenge. Team members Megan Adamek, Tom Kaenel, Joe Kemker, Aidan McCoyd, Mia McCoyd, Michael Spain, and Kate Weber designed and built equipment that retrieved parts and delivered products. They also constructed a large mobile piece of equipment which a team member was required to ride and operate.

Whittier was also represented at the Illinois State Tournament by three other teams. The Pizza Warriors (team members Ethan Hinson, Jack Jordan, Emily Nichilo, Louie Nielsen, Molly O’Connor, and Nick Walker) competed in DI’s technical challenge. Destination Domination (team members Morgan Arnold, Paige Arnold, Sydney Garner, Michael McCann, Kevin Nunkovich, and Eve Zubek) competed in the fine arts challenge. And the Extremely Creative Whale Sharks (team members Eva Banaszewski, Gabe Kerscher, Jackson Kohley, Ariana Molski, Ethan Seng, and Max Wolf) competed in the structure building challenge. Whittier’s DI teams are proudly sponsored by the Whittier Elementary PTA.

Destination Imagination is an international, youth-centered program that focuses on three essential skills: creativity, problem solving, and team work.  Over 125,000 students from the United States and over 30 other countries participated in DI this year.  Only the best qualify to represent their state, province or country at the DI Global Finals where they have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a week of mind-expanding workshops, while meeting and competing with students from around the world.

The cost of participating in Global Finals is over of $750 per student (and per parent chaperone). If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to help the Culture Clash raise funds for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, please contact Becky Hjellming at bhjellming@gmail.com or (630) 462-3963.

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