Some Imaginative Kids

Check out this article from today’s Winchester Star – about a group of 8th graders who raised money to sponsor a camper to Camp Fantastic!

DI Group

Problem-Solving Local Teams Headed To DI Global Finals


Posted: April 16, 2015




The Winchester Star


Members of the Young and Wreckless Destination Imagination team from Frederick County Middle School are going to the global finals May 20-23 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As part of their challenge, the students raised $895 for Special Love, which holds camps for children with cancer. Team members are (back row from left) Natalie Rowe, 13, Aliya Leasock, 14, Haley Summer, 14, and Nathan Leasock, 11; and (front row, from left) Kierra Mauzy, 13, and Danielle Ritter, 13. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)




Students from Winchester and Frederick County public schools aren’t just thinking locally — they’re thinking globally.


Teams from Quarles Elementary and Frederick County Middle schools are heading to Destination Imagination’s Global Finals, billed as the largest creative-thinking and problem-solving competition in the world.


The competition is set for May 20-23 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. More than 1,300 teams from about 15 countries will compete in the international competition.


Destination Imagination (DI) is a national nonprofit organization that encourages teams of learners to think creatively while competing in challenges.


Teams choose a challenge from five categories — science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); improvisation; visual arts; service learning, and early learning — and create projects that showcase their creative approach to solving the challenge. The projects are solely designed and planned by the students.


The teams showcase their solutions during competition.


The Young and Wreckless team also focused on service learning. The six-member team set a goal of raising $750 for Special Love, a nonprofit organization with an office in Winchester that sponsors camps for children with cancer.


“We all know someone who’s struggled with or lost someone to cancer,” said eighth-grader Aliya Leasock. “We could relate to it.”


The team, which raised $895, organized a fundraiser in December that allowed people to smash a donated vehicle with a sledgehammer.


“Hitting the car was to symbolize crushing cancer,” Aliya said.


Kierra Mauzy, also an eighth-grader, is looking forward to heading to the global competition.


“I’m excited because I’ve never been out of Virginia or West Virginia,” she said, adding that she’s never even been to the beach.


— Contact Amy Alonzo at