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Hadley Junior High's 8th Grade Team Advances to Destination Imagination's Global Finals

Glen Ellyn, IL -- After winning honors for creativity, teamwork and problem solving in local, state and regional tournaments, Hadley Junior High’s “This Is Not A Comic” has earned the right to travel to Destination Imagination's Global Finals, the largest creative thinking and problem solving competition in the world, to be held May 21-24 in Knoxville, TN. Team members include 8th graders Claire Kenwood, Lily Shorney, SammiJo Schroeder, Megan Nibbio, Matthew Yaniz, Emily Gaertner and Ally Klancnik.

They will compete with other teams in the Fine Arts challenge, one of seven, open-ended challenges that require young people to apply science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in addition to improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork and community service.

Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million young people and adults who have benefitted from taking part in its acclaimed Challenge Program. This year, another 100,000 young people have competed in tournaments throughout the U.S. and in 30 countries to earn a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.

Hadley Junior High’s team is among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,250 teams that will advance to Global Finals, which will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville May 21-24.

“The Destination Imagination Program allows students K-College to learn and experience the creative process. Quantitative reasoning, problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, presentations and thinking on your feet are some of the important skills learned in the program,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination.

This year, 2013 “American Idol” contestant and Destination Imagination alum, Rachel Hale, will kick off Global Finals with a performance at Opening Ceremony on May 21. Destination Imagination will also be presenting their prestigious Risorgimento Award to the Mayo Clinic for its innovative contributions in the fields of science and medicine.

This year’s Global Finals Innovation Expo will house engaging exhibits from NASA, 3M, National Geographic, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Laser Pegs, Einstein in a Box, and many other innovative companies. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to take a journey through a simulated rainforest and learn about its impact on the planet’s ecosystem through the 3M-sponsored, interactive “Explore the Uncharted” exhibit.

Destination Imagination participants and attendees will also attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the largest group of people wearing duct tape at the event’s annual Duct Tape Costume Ball.

Destination Imagination is an educational program where student teams are immersed in the creative process needed to solve open-ended challenges, and then present their solutions at regional and state tournaments. If they win at those levels, they may receive an invitation to Global Finals.

 “The DI competition requires students to work through some very demanding critical thinking and problem solving assignments that strengthen our educational systems by enhancing the learning processes taking place in the classroom,” declared Cadle.  “We’ve seen the development of superior aptitudes in analytical thinking, leadership, project management, teamwork, communication, research and innovation in hundreds of thousands of youth since our organization’s inception almost three decades ago, and we believe Destination Imagination has the potential to bridge the gap between what is taught in our schools and the thinking skills our youth will need to succeed in the world of the future.”

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