Valley teams excel again In global tournament

Team from Highand and two from Isfeld all finish in top 20

Three teams from local high schools represented the Comox  Valley at a world class tournament of critical and creative thinking.

A team from Highland Secondary School featuring Delaney Dunne, Claire Fullerton, Willem Roelants and Paul Wernicke had to build the lightest structure possible that continued to support a heavy pressure board while removing parts of the structure.

Their creative solution was one of the best and most creative in the international tournament, amazing appraisers and participants alike. When this solution was combined with their ability to solve a challenge they could not prepare for, this team finished fourth in the world at the secondary level, the highest result of any Canadian secondary school.

“I’m really proud of these students – they embody what we want from all our students,” said Dean Patterson, Highland Secondary’s principal. “They’re creative, quick thinking problem solvers who have represented our school, our province and our country with distinction this year.”

Two other local teams joined the Highland team at the tournament. Both teams, from Isfeld Secondary, finished in the top 20, which is an impressive accomplishment in its own right, given the hundreds of teams  they were competing against, worldwide.

The team of Matthew Black, Nicole Cho, Amelia Helpard, Brendan Russell and Steven Yik had to present a team-created fairy tale about a character that faces and deals with a phobia while integrating pieces of art and illusions into their presentation.

The team of Chance Devereux, Ben Gastis, Jake Heselgrave, Sophie Reimer, and David Schmidt-Schweda took on the scientific challenge having to design and construct a sound machine that produced two different sounds while integrating two visible displays of sound waves into their presentation.

Destination Imagination is the world leader in developing creativity and innovation skills in youth.  200,000 students in 31 countries participate in the Team Challenge program every year.

The Global Finals, sponsored by Disney and NASA, are held each year at the University of Tennessee.

This year 1,468 teams participated representing 17 countries.

In each of the past five years teams from the Comox Valley have earned the right to represent British Columbia at this tournament and have achieved enviable results that have gotten international attention.

“To consistently achieve such positive results, demonstrates the quality of education and opportunity our students have,” said School District Superintendent Sherry Elwood. “Our students and their teachers should be very proud of themselves for their hard work and success.”

Teams have already started planning and working towards solving next year’s challenges.