Hundreds of supporters attended Destination Imagination “Performance and Fiesta Night” at Syracuse Middle School April 30 where they enjoyed Mexican Food and watching the three teams perform their “challenges” for the crowd.  
All three teams of Syracuse students have advanced to the Global Competition to be held in Kansas City this summer.
Destination Imagination is a worldwide competition that encourages student led problem-solving in the areas of STEM, the arts, social entrepreneurship, and early learning.  
Teams are challenged to work together and build a solution to their given task.  They work with little direction from adults (only supervision).  The Syracuse teams have spent hundreds of hours outside of school preparing for the competitions, and their hard work paid off!
At Performance Night, the audience viewed all three teams and spent some time asking questions and learning about their experiences so far.
In their first year of competition, the fifth grade team “Six Pack” competed in the Elementary Fine Arts Challenge with a skit about a Wheel of Fortune Game that comes to life.  
In their self-written skit, the Wheel, Grumpy Gizmo, reveals that he actually controls the outcome of the game.  Three enthusiastic contestants are oblivious to his interference in the game, but in the end all is well when the Wheel can finally retire.  They not only wrote the skit, but they designed and built their props and costumes.  The team consisted of: Ryan Damme, Drew Paulsen, Brennan Schroeder, Jailei Walker, Reagan Wilhelm, and Haleigh Werner. They were coached by Irene Wilhelm.
The sixth grade team “First Time Flyers” competed in the Middle School Technical Challenge where they had to write their skit and design and build an aircraft to take off, fly, and land. Their skit was about a group of scientists who traveled to the Amazon rainforest to study plant and animal life.  While there, they discover a Sasquatch-type creature and confirm a new species called “Thickfoot.” The team consisting of Brady Ballinger, Eliza Bennett, Noah Baehr, Tyler Sears, and Ayden Swift was coached by Crystal Bennett.
The most experienced team, “Controlled Chaos,” competed in the Middle School Fine Arts Challenge where they wrote a skit about a Global Chess Championship match in 2024.  
In the midst of the competition, a female competitor time-traveled with a magical human chess piece to visit a prominent queen two noblemen playing chess.  There in the 15th century, she learned about the history of how the queen piece became so powerful, and she used that knowledge to beat her opponent in 2024.  Team members Sam Bennett, Cody Damme, Lelend Dilley, Jackson Nordhues, Katelyn Smith, and Ayva Swift were coached by Sherlyn Damme.
The teams showed off some amazing talent in their creativity with writing, designing, and making costumes and props for all of their challenges.  They have been working hard through a variety of fundraisers in the community in order to attend the Global Competition this summer.
The following is a thank you for the support they have received so far:
“Syracuse DI would like to thank the Syracuse and surrounding communities for your support of our 2018-2019 Destination Imagination season!  You may have shopped one of our craft booths, eaten at our concession stand, migrated a flock of pink flamingos, purchased items at our rummage sale, bought Eileen’s cookie dough from a team member, gave a monetary donation, allowed us usage of a building or trailer, or simply asked a team member, a manager, or a parent how things were going and shared an encouraging word.  We are appreciative and grateful of every act of kindness!  We are blessed to live in such a caring, generous, and supportive community!  Thank you again for helping our three teams meet their goal of participating at Global Finals!”