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West DI shows savvy

At the Destination Imagination state tournament, the Blue Ribbon Society team from West Madison Elementary School won the "Spirit of DI" award. Members are Lleyton Oakes, front to back, Aleksei Fadairo, Lauren Martin, Leeza Haddock, Emily Green and Bailey Green. (CONTRIBUTED)
At the Destination Imagination state tournament, the Blue Ribbon Society team from West Madison Elementary School won the “Spirit of DI” award. Members are Lleyton Oakes, front to back, Aleksei Fadairo, Lauren Martin, Leeza Haddock, Emily Green and Bailey Green. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Showing the spirit of Destination Imagination (DI), members of the Blue Ribbon Society team from West Madison Elementary School stayed cool under pressure at the Alabama State Destination Imagination Tournament.

Blue Ribbon Society won the “Spirit of DI” award, the only team to win this award at the state tournament. Team members are Lleyton Oakes, Aleksei Fadairo, Lauren Martin, Leeza Haddock, Emily Green and Bailey Green.

“Our team had planned to use a remote control truck as part of its ‘tech challenge.’ And it worked — in every practice, every presentation and at regionals,” West Madison DI sponsor and gifted specialist Wendy Tibbs said.

Unfortunately, during final setup at state, “The truck died. No movement, no response to the controller, nothing. The kids panicked for about two minutes, but then realized that they could make the truck ‘move’ by tying fishing line, invisible to the audience, to the front and back bumper,” Tibbs said.

The West Madison youngsters proved “instant problem-solving. They quickly reworked their entire eight-minute presentation to make that feature work with the ‘new technology,'” Tibbs said.

“Although they didn’t win their challenge, they won something more important — confidence under pressure. The tournament panel of assessors didn’t even realize they were implementing a Plan B,” Tibbs said.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville hosted the tournament this spring.

In addition, West Madison’s “Gummy Bear Apocalypse” team took first place with Rebecca Coffey, Ben Crouse, Harley Dauma, Savannah Gaertner, Kamryn Hailey and Anahita Pour Biazar. Team manager is Julie Hinz.

These teams and others in Madison City Schools qualified for 2015 DI Global Finals in Knoxville that were held in May.

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