Hudson DI team places 6th in worldwide competitionThe Hudson Destination Imagination team, Polar Opposites, placed sixth out of 76 teams at the 2010 Global Finals Competition in Knoxville, Tenn. May 26-28.
The Hudson Destination Imagination team, Polar Opposites, placed sixth out of 76 teams at the 2010 Global Finals Competition in Knoxville, Tenn. May 26-28.
For the second year in a row the team of Sarah Potter, Emma Olson, Kelly Holm, Sigrid Ellingson, Mady Haines, Maiya Koch, and Kenzie Drace advanced to the Global Finals Competition and placed in the top six for the elementary age group. This year’s competition was the largest to date with more than 12,000 participants from around the United States and from Korea, Guatemala, Singapore, Canada, Turkey, and China.
According to their manager Melissa Olson, the team of seven fifth-grade girls unanimously voted this Global Finals experience the “best ever” as they had the opportunity to serve as ambassadors to a fifth-grade team from Guatemala. The native-born Guatemalan team, The Funky Chickens, attend the American School of Guatemala, a bi-lingual, bi-cultural K-12 school located in the capital city of Guatemala City. The students learn math, science, U.S. history and English in English and Guatemalan/Mayan history and Spanish in Spanish.
Before Global Finals most of the team members didn’t know where Guatemala was located. Ellingson did some research and the team learned some basic facts about the Central American country including their favorite: that the pre-Columbian Indians of Guatemala are credited with inventing the chocolate bar.
The teams exchanged e-mail introductions and pictures before attending the International event. During Global Finals, the teams shared about their culture, traded souvenirs, participated in the competition, and talked non-stop according to Olson. Team member, Emma Olson said, “It was so easy to be friends. Everyone started talking right away. We found out that we share things in common like playing soccer, music and D.I.”
The Guatemalan teams’ return home was delayed when Tropical Storm, Agatha wrecked havoc on the community already contending with heavy eruptions from the volcano, Pacaya, 18 miles south of Guatemala City. The devastation included landslides and a vast sink hole that swallowed a clothing factory and entire intersection in Guatemala City. The disaster shut down the city’s international airport and extended the Guatemalan team’s stay in Knoxville by a week. Before meeting the Funky Chickens the Hudson Team indicated that they may not have paid any attention to news about Guatemala. Now the team members follow the news closely; concerned for their new friends and their community.
Said Olson, “There is a lot of talk about a global economy. If we intend to participate in the global community, we must raise culturally literate, sensitive thinkers. Globalization is more than competition. It’s beyond buying each other’s goods; it’s doing something good for and with each other. It’s thrilling to know that technology allow friendships with people around the world. The students on these two teams hope to maintain their friendships for many years to come.”