Schools to compete in Destination ImagiNation Global Finals

May 22, 2001

Schools to compete in Destination ImagiNation Global Finals

By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town
Blue Ridge Elementary


staff photographer

Two teams of fifth-graders from Jefferson County will compete in the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., starting Wednesday. Above, competing in the Triplicity category from Blue Ridge Elementary School are, front row, Linda Cobb and Anna Lloyd and back row, Aaron Staubs, Ryan D'Angelo, Tony Citro, Lottie Cobb and Amy Tatina. Below, competing in the Incredible Tech Effects category from South Jefferson Elementary School are, from left, Nicholas Lance, Tyler Torlone, Andrew Orsie, Kiesha Rufner, Gabriella Aherns, Joey Bochinski and Travis Jennings.South Jefferson Elementary

The haunted house would be impressive enough if adults built it, let alone fifth-graders.

But that's who designed the creation.

The seven fifth-graders from South Jefferson Elementary School built the haunted house in an attempt to win a competition in Knoxville, Tenn., this week that will test their imagination.


To compete in the Incredible Tech Effects category of Destination ImagiNation, the students had to complete several tasks, such as making something appear to levitate.

For the haunted house, the South Jefferson group wired a vacuum cleaner to the inside of the house and ran the hose up through a chimney.

The next step involved reversing the airflow to make the vacuum blow air instead of draw it.

Then comes the magic.

One of the students places a Styrofoam ball in the airstream and it flutters in mid-air about 10 inches above the chimney.

Any project entered in the Incredible Tech Effects category must also have sound effects.

Not about to be outdone, the students began playing around with some corrugated medical tubing that one of them got from their grandmother.

They gathered about 30 feet of the hose together and somehow realized that blowing through it would create a sound like that of a screeching owl.

"We were just fooling around with it," said Nicholas Lance, one of the students.

The house also features a disappearing person, with the help of a black light and special paint, and an illusion of an open fire.

The fire illusion is created by using a piece of white silk-like fabric that is lighted by orange lights. When a small fan in the fire pit is turned on, the fabric flaps in the orange light, making it look like fire.

Not bad considering a lot of the students' materials came from Goodwill Industries and a trash receptacle at Schewels Furniture in Charles Town.

"They have really improved a lot. You can tell by their technical abilities," said Robyn Lance, one of two adults who will manage the team when they begin competing in the Global Finals of Destination ImagiNation Wednesday.

The group advanced to the national competition after capturing first place in the state competition in Morgantown in April.

They are one of two groups in Jefferson County, as well as others across the Tri-State area, competing in the event.

Seven students from Blue Ridge Elementary School are competing in the Triplicity category, where they have to write a story about a journey to the destination of their choice.

The kids chose a trip to a fictitious planet. In the story, the students crash land on the planet and part of their spaceship breaks off.

Some of the kids who play the part of aliens on the planet test the strength of the spaceship part and determine if it is strong enough to hold their leader, King Massive Colussus.

The story revolves around a structure the kids built that weighs 76 grams, but can support 197 pounds.

"They're brilliant. You should see the astronaut costumes," said Robin Tatina, who is coaching the team.

The Blue Ridge group won first place in the Triplicity category in Morgantown.

Destination ImagiNation, a splinter from Odyssey of the Mind, is expected to attract about 2,000 elementary, middle, high school and college teams.

Nicholas Lance, Kiesha Rufner, Travis Jennings, Gabriella Aherns, Joey Bochinski, Tyler Torlone and Andrew Orsie make up the South Jefferson team.

Tony Citro, Ryan D'Angelo, Aaron Staubs, Amy Tatina, Linda Cobb, Lottie Cobb and Anna Lloyd make up the Blue Ridge group.

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