If you have a child in school, they may have asked you at some point in their educational career, “Why do I have to go to school?” Schools offer our children an opportunity to not only socialize with their peers, but also offer them time for exploration to learn new skills, to ask questions as they are exposed to new experiences and other people, as well as time for self-discovery. As education is one of Bridgeland’s top tenets, students have access to a curriculum that will enable them to compete in the 21st century and enrichment programs that offer these opportunities for growth and exploration.
Destination Imagination, an enrichment program offered nationwide and available to students in CFISD seeks to inspire and equip youth to use imagination and to innovate through the creative process. Students form teams to solve a problem from one of seven challenge areas: technology, science, engineering, fine arts, improvisation, service learning, and early learning. Acquiring valuable skills like critical thinking, collaboration, and management, teams showcase their creative solutions at regional and state-level competitions, ultimately vying for a spot at the Global Finals.
Bridgeland’s team — Cypress Problem Solvers — consists of a group of children from CFISD: two Smith Middle School seventhgraders, a fifth grader from Pope Elementary School and four McGown fifth graders. The Howard Hughes Corporation assisted the team with funds for transportation to Kansas City, Missouri, where the final competition took place in May.
Global Finals is the culminating Challenge tournament for Destination Imagination teams that advance through Regional and Affiliate tournaments around the world. After capturing first place in the Gulf Coast tournament, Cypress Problem Solvers was selected to represent Texas at the State’s challenge, held recently at UT Arlington, where they were also awarded first place. As one of the top-scoring Destination Imagination teams in our state, they earned the chance to compete at Globals.
Led by an adult team leader, students from first grade through high school can participate in the Destination Imagination Challenge Program. Managed by Raj Venkatachalam, team manager and father of one of the participants, the five boys and two girls have been working together, meeting for four hours each week for the past eight months. Using engineering, research, strategic planning, and related skills, they were tasked with building two puzzle solvers with pivotal movement that could be assembled during an 8-minute presentation.
Learning as they went along, the team made adjustments to their design between tournaments and showcased their final solution in Kansas City last month. Competing against 23 other teams from around the world, Cypress Problem Solvers witnessed amazing creative solutions to the same problem. Achieving the chance to participate in the Destination Imagination Global competition is itself a praiseworthy accomplishment. Performing admirably, the team finished in 11th place.
We congratulate Cypress Problem Solvers for their dedication, creativity, and their ability to work together as a team to create a final solution to the technical problem. These skills, along with critical thinking, collaboration and flexibility are some of the requirements to succeed in school and in life. Keep up the good work, and we look forward to hearing of future successes.