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Hudson Destination Imagination teams head to Globals

Globals-bound Destination Imagination team If This is a Hat is This a Hat? is made up of Evy Johnson, Evey Thorenson, Meghan Hillman, Owen Olson, Jackson O'Brien and Beni Kemp. 1 / 6
Destination Imagination teammates Jacob Ellingson, Taylor Van Dyke, Esme Mergendahl, Maya Tutor, Lizzie Vizenor, Ella Schienle and Liam Thoreson are heading to Globals this month. 2 / 6
Destination Imagination team ELEMENT-ary is one of six heading to Globals. On the team are Jasper Halverson, Owen Malanaphy, Cecelia McMenimen, Elizabeth Yray, Abby Knoke, Brayden Oehmke and Jakub Kudrle. Submitted photos3 / 6
Destination Imagination team Brenda Has Earrings is headed to Globals with teammates (front row) Nora Koerth, Freya Fenstermacher and Sophie Thompson, and back row, Norah Salter, Riley Goodwin and Katie Olson.4 / 6
Destination Imagination teammates Dani Gasmen, Jake Schroeder, Kirsten Amann, Kinsey Novotne, Page Garza and Nathan Loppnow are on their way to Globals after placing first at the state competition. 5 / 6
Destination Imagination team Miner Disturbance will go to Globals with teammates Nels Bentley, Ethan Seath, Noah Mallek and in front, Cal Mergendahl. 6 / 6

Hudson students will join others from more than 40 countries around the world at the end of May for the Destination Imagination Globals competition.

Six Hudson teams totaling 35 students ranging from elementary to high school will go up against 70 others at the event in Tennessee starting Tuesday, May 22.

"It's very competitive when you get to Globals," said Liz Malanaphy, Destination Imagination coach.

Destination Imagination is a competition-based program where teams of students work together to find solutions for a challenge of their choosing. Challenges are in six categories — engineering,technical, fine arts, scientific, improvisational and service learning.

The student-created solutions are presented at competitions after weeks and months of working together.

"They really recognize each other's strengths. They just recognize what they all bring to the table," Malanaphy said.

This year Hudson had 24 Destination Imagination teams, more than some programs see in the whole state. The participants include students from the elementary school, middle school and high school level. Malanaphy said this is one of the only programs that features a wide range of grades.

"Our city has really just been very strong and consistent with our number of teams and how well our kids do," Malanaphy said.

The program relies on volunteer managers, typically parents of participants, who usher the teams through the season that lasts September through March.

"That's a strength of our program," Malanaphy said. "They're very dedicated, and some of them are new and brave and just willing to try it."

Destination Imagination is student led, so the role of the manager is really to step back and allow the students to work through the programs on their own.

"The things they do are so amazing," Malanaphy said of the students.

The qualifying teams placed in the top three in first regionals and then state.

"To place top three is pretty good," Malanaphy said of state competitions.

Hudson has had at least one team go to Globals every years for the last 14 years.

"Six is a fairly high number," Malanaphy said. "Especially for fundraising."

Destination Imagination is now working on fundraising for the trip down to Tennessee. The trip costs about $750 per kid. The teams will be at the Community Garage Sale at Willow River Elementary School on Saturday, May 20. The program has also held bake sales and fundraising nights at restaurants.

"We're kind of eating our way to Globals," Malanaphy said.

Once there, students will have the chance to not only compete against, but meet with other participants from around the globe. Teams are partnered with buddy teams from another country, and support each other through the competition.

It's all a culmination of a long season.

"The whole globals experience is so clearly a celebration of the kids and their spirit, their energy, their hard work," Malanaphy said. "I think it really honors their commitment."

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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