Students use their imaginations to creatively solve problems


Molly Flannery

Destination Imagination teaches students how to solve problems around them in an original way.

Josie Ross, Staff Writer

Students at BSM often face tough problems that require creative and original solutions. Ms. Hoogenakker, the new engineering teacher, wants to prepare high school students for these situations, so she started Destination Imagination. This club teaches students how to solve problems around them.

During grade school and high school, Hoogenakker was a devoted competitor in Destination Imagination and wanted to continue the legacy with other high school students. “I started this activity in seventh grade and continued it all the way through my senior year,” Hoogenakker said.

Hoogenakker became more involved in the activity during her junior year of high school and took a leadership position in the club. “During my junior year, I started working on the advisory board and got involved in the inner-workings of it,” Hoogenakker said.

With her vast experience as a competitor and leader, Hoogenakker knew she could lead BSM to victory for the regional competitions in March and the State Tournament in April. Hoogenakker plans to train the participants how to handle challenges they are faced with.

Kayla McMenamy, a BSM junior, is excited for the future tournaments. To prepare for these competitions, the team members have three hour long practices a week. “We start out each practice with food, and then we start to work on the stuff we planned out,” McMenamy said.

During competitions, teams are posed an instant challenge and a central challenge. “Our central challenge is fully student driven and is scripted and planned out before we perform it at the tournament to get points, and our instant challenge [we] have to improvise and we won’t know what the challenge is when we go into the tournament,” McMenamy said.

During their hour-long practice sessions three times a week, the team tries to focus on one of five future challenges that could be presented to them in a competition.“During any of these challenges, you will have to create a skit describing what you will do to fix the problem. The team members will be given a budget to work with and to pay for all of the scenery and props, but with each skit, guidelines regarding certain requirements must be met,” Hoogenakker explained.

The coach hopes to see students receive outcomes they want through their determination and hard work.“If kids are really pushed to find the most creative solution, they will find several different solutions, realizing there is not just one correct way to solve the tasks at hand,” Hoogenakker said. Hoogenakker believes that Destination Imagination is a great activity that will push the limits of students and teach them life-impacting lessons.