|(Seguin) -- The Seguin ISD has secured its place on the map thanks to the ongoing success of local Destination ImagiNation (DI) teams. Five DI teams have advanced to state competition in Mansfield, Texas on April 6-8. The teams brought home top honors following this past weekend's regional tournament in San Antonio.|
The mission of the Texas Destination Imagination contest is "to encourage and foster the development of 21st century skills: creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration; to influence development of a positive self-image; and to prepare the students of Texas to apply problem solving skills to life decisions."
In addition to its first place finish, one of the teams earned a Renaissance Award for outstanding design, engineering, execution and performance. Two teams brought home a DaVinci Award for its unique approach to a solution, risk taking and overall outstanding creativity. The remaining top team for the Seguin ISD earned a Spirit of Discovery Award for "modeling spirit, teamwork, sportsmanship and volunteerism."
Michael Olstad, the district DI co-coordinator, says the Seguin ISD has plenty to be proud of with the continued success of the program. He just it just reinforces the importance of this type of skill and learning.
"We can teach the critical and creative thinking and we want to put the emphasis on the critical piece because the creativity is impacted by the ability to look at it critically to be able to create something simple which obviously, our team has been doing for a really long time. Further, it reinforces what we have learned about brain research which is important. I don't know that we apply that as much as we should in education and that it is supported by numerous studies that have come out through the years and this is kind of the big take away for us is that the younger that we introduce the concept, so kinder, the quicker that they are understood and embraced and so this year, that really more than ever do (was evidenced)," said Olstad.
State qualifiers include the Seguin High School's Seguin Treasure team which took first place in Service Learning category known as "Inside Impact," and earned a Renaissance Award.
The Barnes Middle School DI team Magic D Eyes team will also compete at state thanks to placing first in Service Learning category "Inside Impact."
The Live or DI team from Barnes Middle School is also headed to state after first place in Fine Arts category known as "Change of Tune." The team also earned a DaVinci Award at this past weekend's Destination Imagination regional competition.
The Barnes Middle School Ride or DI team will also prepare for state after finishing first in the Engineering Category known as "Drop Zone." This team also brought home a DaVinci Award.
One elementary campus is also prepping for state following its win at regionals. The 6 Fighting Matadors team of Weinert Elementary finished first in the Fine Arts Category "Change of Tune" and earned the Spirit of Discovery Award at this year's competition.
Olstad says the success that Seguin continues to have just illustrates the vital importance of the program -- not only for the contest but for a student's future.
"I think what Seguin is doing and really pulling our kids in at the youngest level that we possibly can and having a profound impact on what our kids are learning and the skill set that they are going to take into them as they grow and go into the workforce and so in the next 10 or 15 years. as the job market and the needs for our global community continues to accelerate and change -- I don't think there's any doubt that this skills that the kids that who are involved in DI are developing and have developed will not only be in great demand, but I think they are going to provide them opportunities that are not available to an awful lot of supposedly educated people in the community. I mean, I just think it speaks volume in getting our kids involved at the youngest level that we possibly can," said Olstad.
District officials say they also celebrate the success of many other teams from across the district who also competed and placed in the competition. Only the first place winners advance to the state contest. Several other teams from the Seguin area also participated in the recent regional DI contest, including teams from the Navarro ISD and one team from St. James Catholic School.