National Space Club of Huntsville donates to DI team

Terry Abel, far right, presents a donation to Samurai Puppycats team members Aaliyah Coe, Laura Neveu, Devin Toney, Lauren Chambers and Danielle Oliver. (CONTRIBUTED)
Terry Abel, far right, presents a donation to Samurai Puppycats team members Aaliyah Coe, Laura Neveu, Devin Toney, Lauren Chambers and Danielle Oliver. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – National Space Club of Huntsville has donated $1,000 to a Destination Imagination (DI) team in Madison to reach the 2014 DI Global Finals.

The Samurai Puppycats team, coached by Dana Chambers and supportive parents, used the donation to compete at the finals in Knoxville, Tenn. on May 21-25.

Club director Patrick Scheuermann of Marshall Space and Flight Center presented the contribution at a breakfast on the Dynetics campus on May 14.

“They acknowledged this team that attends Rainbow Elementary School,” Chambers said. “We are so appreciative for their support and honoring us with funds to compete in Destination Imagination at global finals.”

Samurai Puppycats members are fifth-graders Aaliyah Coe, Laura Neveu, Devin Toney, Lauren Chambers and Danielle Oliver.

For its challenge, the Samurai Puppycats decided to solve a fine arts scenario, “Laugh Art Loud.” They had to choose an artist born outside the United States who has artwork in a museum.

Then, the team chose a piece of art that inspired them and wrote a ‘funny’ play that included three comic ‘freeze frames.’ For Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” “the team had to design and create all of their sets, costumes and dialogue,” Chambers said.

The team also had to build a “caption contraption — something that created a caption and froze at one point in their presentation,” Chambers said. Humor was a prerequisite. “That part wasn’t too difficult. They’re so funny.”

The Samurai Puppycats spent hours many hours in fundraising for global finals. They held car washes, yard sales and pancake breakfasts.

They also did “flamingo flocking,” or placing 25-plus plastic flamingos in someone’s yard. The homeowner can do nothing, and the students will remove the birds the next day. Or, the homeowner could donate $20 and specify the next yard that will be flocked.

Business leaders in National Space Club of Huntsville support students’ pursuits in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). “Their enthusiasm and support has propelled our team forward,” Chambers said.

For more information, visit spaceclub-hsv.org.

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