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April 17, 2013

Triton team wins state contest, heads to DI Global Finals

BYFIELD — A team of local seventh-graders took on the scientific challenge, WindVisible, and placed first in the Destination Imagination state competition in the Middle School level.

The team now moves on to DI Global Finals in May at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where teams from all over the world will attend and compete.

DI is an educational program in which student teams solve open-ended challenges (each year there are six to choose from) and present their innovative solutions at tournaments around the globe. All DI solutions must be team created — scripts, sets, props, costumes and technical pieces. It is an opportunity for kids to learn new skills and trust each other in working toward a solution.

The team members — Jonah Davis, Sofie DeSimone, Haley Morgan, Sara Stackpole and Casey White — have been doing DI together since second grade at Newbury Elementary School. Self-named Marshview DI, they are now all students at Triton Regional Middle School. This is the first year the team attempted the Scientific challenge, haven chosen the Performance, Technical and Community Service challenges over the past six years.

This year’s scientific challenge involved researching wind energy, creating a piece of kinetic art (to be started in motion by the wind) and creating an 8-minute performance with an invisible visitor as a key character.

The group created a story in which a ship delivering parts for a wind farm crashes onto an island in the Pacific where there is no source of power, but there is a family of mermaids. Their invisible visitor is an artist who inspires the use of wind stalks, rather than windmills, as an installation on the island.

The team sewed mermaid costumes, designed a set decorated with recycled paint chips and used magnets to allow various items to fall from the set as if an invisible visitor were causing havoc. Their kinetic art, started in motion by a fan, shows a miniature ship crashing and mermaids “swimming” with jellyfish that twirl around in a backdrop made to look like it is under the ocean.

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