March 19, 2013

Nine teams from Kuemper Catholic School each participated in one of six different team challenges in the Destination ImagiNation sub-state tournament Saturday at Ames Middle School. Each team also participated in an instant challenge. The combined scores from each team's two events determined their ranking in their challenge and level.

The Kuemper teams are coordinated by Mary Koester.

According to the Destination ImagiNation website, the program is intended to promote creative problem-solving. Team members solve challenges and incorporate science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the arts and service learning. The program also builds self-confidence and teamwork.

In Challenge A, In the Zone, the team needed to design and build up to 10 small cars using at least three different power sources. The cars were tested by going from a start zone to one of three scoring zones while avoiding the danger zone. The team also presented a skit about hazards faced by cars. A Kuemper Middle School team, Knight Visions, placed second in this challenge. Students on the Knight Visions team include seventh-graders Grant Halbur, Adam Daniel, Rory Shepherd, Jacob Schreck and Mitchell Langel. Their team manager is Lori Schreck.

In Challenge B, Wind Visible, teams needed to research wind energy and present an original skit including an invisible visitor and kinetic art while incorporating facts about wind energy. The middle school team, ACTion CATs, placed second. This team was managed by Mary Koester and includes sixth-graders Anna Langel, Caleigh Flood and Taylor Harrington. A third-grade team, SOME Creative Chipmunks, also did this challenge and placed second in the elementary level. Students on this team include Shea Parkis, Emma Harrington, Molly Kasperbauer, Olivia Auen and Alexandria Klein. Co-managers are Stacey Kasperbauer and Crystal Parkis.

In Challenge C, In Disguise, teams were required to present a skit without using words that also included a character in disguise and two different original masks. Kuemper had two middle school teams doing this challenge. The Ginja Ninja 4 including seventh-graders Carli Sibbel and Katelyn Schulte and sixth-graders Angela Schulte and Rachel Steinkamp were managed by Mary Ann Schulte. They tied for first place. The team Alerts of Randomness placed third. This team includes seventh-graders Alysa Flood, Dominick Ervelli, Elizabeth Kenkel, Stephanie Nees, Caleb Ludwig and Brandon Gehling. Their co-managers are Monica Nees and LeAnn Flood.

Challenge D, Change in Reali-Tee, was an improvisational challenge. Teams randomly selected one of six communication methods they researched prior to the tournament and a dramatic change. They also had plain white T-shirts and markers to use. They had five minutes to put together a skit. Then they were given three nouns and had an additional one minute to create a sentence to use in their skit. Kuemper had one team in this challenge, the Neon Knights, who placed second. Team members are fifth-graders Alex Grote, Kurtis Ramsey, Amber Rial, Kira Parkis, Ethan Scott and Carson Ludwig. They were managed by Cindy Grote and Jeri Ramsey.

Challenge E, Twist-O-Rama, was a structure challenge. Here the team members needed to build a structure weighing less than 175 grams out of materials from a list provided. At competition, weights are placed on the structure and periodically, a side force is applied causing the structure to twist. The team also created a skit with a surprise twist at the end. Kuemper had two teams doing this challenge. The high school team, Would You Be Mad?, placed first with their structure holding 440 pounds and withstanding eight twists. Team members are sophomores Troy Schulte, Kylie Anderson, Katelyn Hoffman, Kelly Schuler, Brittany York, Michael Lux and freshman Ben Kenkel. Team manager is Vicki Anderson. The elementary team, I Make Drabls, includes fourth[graders Kenadie King, Darian Cortez, Dayna Toft, Max Burnett, Riley Healy and Blake Pottebaum. Co-managers are Alma Cortez and Abby Glass. This team's structure held 60 pounds and had two twists. They placed fourth at competition.

A Kuemper team, Ninja Animals, did the Rising Stars challenge called ROY G BIV. This is a non-competitive challenge. The team included kindergarten students Logan Rial, Caleb Flood, Conor Greteman and first-graders Matthew Underhill, Aiden Steger and Michael Kasperbauer. They were managed by Mary Koester. This team needed to learn about the colors of the rainbow and create a skit about a birthday party for ROY G BIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet). For their original story they selected animals that were the different colors, made their costumes, and found props to use.

All the teams, except the non-competitive Rising Stars, will also participate in State Tournament on April 6. The Destination ImagiNation Tournament is possible due to many hours provided by volunteers, Mary Koester says. Representing the Kuemper teams as tournament volunteers were Ron Morlok, Kristina Wieland, Joan Schulte, Tammy Hulsing, Chris Joslin, Mike Daniel, Kristie Kenkel, Kathy Stipe, Alison Weber and David Koester.