Menu Close

Two Edison Teams Advance to D.I. Global Finals

Two Edison Local School District teams are heading to Kansas City, Mo., next month to take part in the Destination Imagination Global Finals.

     Edison Jr. High School’s team, Us, is making a return to the international event while the brand-new team The Baconators, which hails from John Gregg Elementary, is making its first appearance at the competition. Both groups gained first-place honors in their respective categories of technical and fine arts challenges during the Ohio D.I. competition on April 6 at East Lakota High School in Butler County. D.I. is an educational program in which teams work throughout the year to solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions. Each challenge participant gains knowledge and experience in areas including creative and critical thinking, project management, team building, conflict resolution, STEM, perseverance and a completion mindset.  

     The global finals will take place on May 21-26 in Kansas City and include 1,400 teams from around the world on a quest for a title. A series of fundraisers are underway including a joint spaghetti dinner at the Richmond United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 4 from 3-7 p.m. that is dine in or carry out and by donation only. Other moneymakers include soliciting local businesses for donations, a Jr. Beta Club fundraiser and holding penny wars, a tag day and slushies sales to help fund the trip.

    Members of Us are eager to have another chance at a win after tying for 20th in their category out of 41 total teams at last year’s finals. The team, which is coached by Amanda Richardson, includes seventh-graders Connor Richardson, Beckett Dopp, Nathan Myers, Daleanee Devore, Lindsey Howell and Olivia Ferguson. They previously earned a Renaissance Award for outstanding design, performance and engineering at the Southeast Regional Tournament in March as well as a DaVinci Award for creativity during the regionals in 2022.

   Their latest technical challenge project, “Pinball Heroes,” incorporates a pinball system and earned them a win out of six total teams in their category at the state event. The group met regularly to construct their design and ensure it functioned properly for the contest.

   “This is the second time we’re going to the global finals,” said Dopp. “This year we’re going to try to place first, second or third. We’re really excited.”

   “We’ll definitely try to be in the Top 10,” added Howell. “We were looking for something more creative to implement into our skit.”

   “Last year we had a bunch of amazing sponsors who donated,” said Devore. “We are having a spaghetti dinner fundraiser because Edison has two teams going and need so much money to go. We’re excited to have two teams going. I feel like it gives Edison a good perspective because all of the D.I. teams really worked hard.”

   Members noted that the memorable part of attending the global competition was meeting other teams and taking part in the Kansas City Quest, a city-wide scavenger hunt. They added that their overall experience has built interest in the program and honed their abilities in making life decisions and having patience and creativity.

   “This has made us grow so much as a team,” Devore added. 

   The Baconators, which is led by coach Amber Weaver, includes members Lakynn Howell, Adrianna Miller, Carson Ensinger, Cadence Bendle, Reagan Ingram and Landon Ankrom. It is the first time the fourth- and fifth-graders have participated in D.I. and they were ecstatic to head to the globals after facing 10 other teams at the state competition.

  “I’m so excited for them. They really deserve it since they’ve never done this before,” Weaver said. “They are excited. They made me cry because they worked so well together as a team.”

  Their team challenge was “Fine Arts in Motion,” which consists of a skit involving a moveable piece. Howell said the group crafted a story about how the Sphinx in Egypt lost its nose and created a cardboard rendering of the structure with a detachable sniffer. That same project will be used in Kansas City while the group will also complete an instant challenge. Members met up to twice a week to prepare said they learned many things by participating in the contests.

   “The best part is I feel like it brought us closer together,” said Bendle. “There were no other emotions but happiness. I was happy crying [when we won].”

   “We’ve done this and now we’re really good friends,” added Ingram.

    Other members said it has built teamwork and a caring for each other, plus they learned about Egypt while preparing their project.

    Ankrom noted he was surprised by the win and excited to move on to the finals.

   “I’m excited about seeing people from all around the world,” added Ensinger.

   Edison hosted the regional competition at Edison High School on March 6, drawing about 400 people and 25 teams from St. Clairsville to Leetonia. A total of 10 Edison teams took part with four advancing to the state contest, including Us and The Baconators along with The Worcestershire Saucers of John Gregg, who took first place in the middle-school scientific challenge, and the Dynamic Duo of EJHS, which won in the middle-school engineering category. Additionally, the Goofy Goobers of John Gregg placed second in the engineering challenge with Stanton’s Crazy Cats earning third in the scientific challenge. Two non-competitive teams from John Gregg known as The Underwater Five and Sea Dragons also took part in the Rising Star category, plus the Creative Cats were honored with an award for innovative ideas in the instant challenge.

We need your feedback!

Please open the survey below to let us know what you think about the Title I program services offered to your child. We would also like information about the parent involvement part of the program. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. The responses will be used to improve the Title I program.