The Flower Valley Elementary School "Destination Imagination" (formerly "Odyssey of the Mind") team is heading to Iowa State University in Ames for four days at the end of May to vie for the title of "World Champion."
The team of seven girls-six fourth graders and one fifth grader-recently won the Maryland state competition, beating the other top 16 elementary school teams in the state.
Team members Kelly Hauprich, Meghan Moritz, Kara Morrill, Erica Rubino, Caitlin Smith, Kendall Smith and Emily Dillon (who now attends Barnsley Elementary School) worked together for five months to come up with a solution to a long-term problem, titled "If Music Be the Food of Life . Play On!"
The team was asked to study, create, write, stage and perform a completely nonverbal presentation to tell a story, using, among other things, original music, an original musical instrument, original costumes and makeup, technical elements, creativity and teamwork. In addition, the story was required to have some relevance to an existing world problem. The girls chose the depletion of rainforests as their cause.
Their solution was presented at the regional tournament in March in Gaithersburg, earning them a second place finish, and again at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where they won first place.
For the world championship in Ames, the Flower Valley students will be competing against about 700 teams from all around the globe.
Destination Imagination is an international competition that combines creativity, teamwork and problem-solving skills for students in kindergarten through college.
Last year, a team from Takoma Park Middle School competed in the world finals, and the previous year, Greenwood Elementary School was the first MCPS elementary school to win a state championship.