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Medfield DI teams enjoy state success

Fourteen of Medfield’s Destination Imagination (DI) teams competed at the regional tournament in Natick on March 17. The DI program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges.

Teams choose to participate in one of the main challenge categories of early learning (2nd grade), engineering, fine arts, improvisational, service learning, scientific, or technical. Second grade teams participate in a noncompetitive category. The elementary division has 3rd-5th grade teams competing against each other. The middle level has 6th-8th grade teams, and the senior level has 9th-12th grade teams. Teams begin working on a solution to a main challenge around October and their hard work is presented at the regional tournament in March. On the day of the tournament, the teams also compete in an instant challenge, during which they come up with a solution in a matter of minutes. Scores from both their main and instant challenges comprise their final score, and the teams are then ranked. Teams who place at the top in their region will compete at the state tournament for a chance to represent Massachusetts in the global DI tournament.

The Medfield senior level team consisting of 12th graders Brigitte Cronin, Kira Dharni, Samira Hajj and Cassandra Navalta, managed by Dave Cronin and Sue Navalta, placed first in the Project Outreach Inside Impact service challenge advanced to the state tournament on March 24 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Awards were also given to a few other Medfield teams who performed well. The elementary team, Medfield STEAM, consisting of 5th graders Zack Gross, Timothy Lodkin, Madelyn Merck, Ashlyn Ryan, Kieran Ryan and Jake Sellinger, managed by Jen Ryan, Patrick Ryan and John Merck, placed second out of five in the Fine Arts Change of Tune challenge.

The elementary team, Medfield Blue Sox, consisting of 3rd graders Cole Bryson, Yoav Friedlander, Dante Morelo, and Robert Wilson, managed by Sharon Friedlander and Zach Friedlander, placed third in the Technical Maze Craze challenge.

The Medfield middle level team, This Ain’t Our First Kodeo, comprised of 7th grade team members Thomas Boland, William Boland, Thomas Davis, Kenneth Manning, Harshil Shah and Preet Shah, managed by Ryan Boland and Marcia Robitaille, placed third out of nine in the Scientific Unlikely Attraction challenge.

Other teams had notable finishes.

The DIYs, a Medfield 5th Grade team comprised of members John Barrette, Sara Hilvert, Kyle Hudson, Brooke Reilly, Anita Rodriguez, Sam St. Mary and Mark Tierney, managed by Michelle Barrettte and Nicole St. Mary, came in 4th out of 12 in a very competitive elementary division of the Scientific Unlikely Attraction challenge.

The Medfield elementary level team of 3rd graders Zico El Abd, Ryan Healey, Liam Hurley, Danny McCarthy, Luke Puglia, Greyson Vogt and Charlie Werner, managed by Courtney McCarthy and Maria Puglia, placed 4th in the Improvisational Treasure challenge.

The middle level team of Medfield 6th graders Morgan Kim, Max O’Brien and Chloe Spitzer, managed by Martina Spitzer and Quinn Spitzer, placed 4th in the Engineering Drop Zone challenge.

The middle level team of Medfield 7th graders Jessica Coletti, Lauren Gerardi, Chloe Hunt and Marin Toohey managed by Sue Toohey and Maura Gerardi placed 5th in the Improvisational Treasure challenge.

The Medfield elementary level team of 3rd graders Ethan Geishecker, Avery Liljedahl, Emi Sinis, Jimmy McNulty, Noah Smith, Kiley Weafer and Aidan Wysocki, managed by Jack Gemski and Kelly Wysocki, placed 8th in the Engineering Drop Zone challenge.

The Medfield elementary level team of 4th graders Emma Catalano, Hayden Geishecker, Julian Parsons, Eliza Sawan, Alithea Varughese and Tarun Verghese, managed by Jayson Hreczuck and Shalini Verghese, placed 9th in the Engineering Drop Zone challenge.

The elementary level team of Medfield 3rd graders Jack Blake, Molly Cragan, Hannah Crocker, Nathan Herbst, Kate Kenworthy, Alicia Schneider and Max Weber, managed by Mike Crocker and Randal Kenworthy, placed 11th in the Scientific Unlikely Attraction challenge.

The Medfield elementary team, NURDS (Never Underestimate Really Determined Students) made up of 4th and 5th graders Cassidy Kolovos, Oliver Manuel, Drew Michaeli, Athena Polechronis and Libby Sinis, managed by Katerina Polechronis and Stephanie Sinis, placed 12th in the Scientific Unlikely Attraction challenge.

There were also two 2nd grade teams from Medfield who performed well in the noncompetitive Rising Star Friends Everywhere challenge. Team members Trevor Biggar, Victoria Leshnick, Max Lowry, Connor Ryan and Vivienne Winfrey were managed by Blake Leshnick and Melissa Lowry.

Team members Auden Erwin, Alexandra Kim, Nathan Parker, Finn Posner, Zoe Varughese and Andrew Wysocki were managed by Carter Erwin and Colin Parker.

DI’s mission and vision is to teach students the creative process and empower them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. DI participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. For more information, visit destinationimagination.org or madikids.org.

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