Hawthorne Brook students win state D.I. honors, worldwide competition is next

Hawthorne Brook students win state D.I. honors, worldwide competition is next

TOWNSEND — The Hawthorne Brook Middle School’s ‘Destination ImagiNation’ team won the state-level competition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, with an improvisational skit called “On Safari.”

The team next travels to Knoxville, Tennessee, in May to compete in the global competition. The Hawthorne Brooke team will represent Massachusetts in competition against 47 other states, 15 countries and several provinces of Canada for the world championship.

”This is an amazing group of students that has worked together as a team, some for up to six years,” said team spokesperson Carol Berman. “Their tenacity and hard work brought them to the greatest honor that the D.I. community can bestow on them: An invitation to perform in the world arena.”

Destination ImagiNation is a community-based, school-friendly program that challenges participants’ creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork in enjoyable and meaningful ways. Teams of five to seven members work together to apply creativity, critical-thinking and their own particular talents to solve a team challenge.

”We had 30 minutes to make up a six-minute skit that took place in the Aleutian Islands with a Himalayan tahr, or goat,” DI team member Emily Messing explained.

The students were given cardboard, string, newspaper and poster board to make all the props and costumes for their skit. But a “problem” arose when a ghost appeared in the Aleutian Islands, and they had to create a device to save themselves, and the goat, from disaster.

”We had to know about the islands, the tahr, and how to solve the problem with just a little bit of time,” D.I. member Lisa Berman said.

”If you have ever had a child in D.I., know a baby-sitter or friend who participated, or participated yourself, you know what a fabulous program this is for developing the thinking and problem-solving skills of the generation that will become our best hope for the future,” Carol Berman said. But there is a problem.

Lisa Berman said the entire team is, “super-psyched about the chance to go to Tennessee and represent the entire state of Massachusetts.” But there is a problem.

”The team needs to raise nearly $10,000 in six weeks in order to go to the global competition,” Carol Berman said.

”If you would like to make a donation to help the Hawthorne Brook Middle School D.I. students reach their goal of going to the global competition, please look for their collection cans at the Townsend and Ashby libraries, and many other locations around the town,” she added.

Berman said checks can be mailed in to help the students get to the global finals.

”Checks can be made out to the Hawthorne Brook D.I. Team, and mailed to 87 Main Street, Townsend,” she said.

The Hawthorne Brook Destination ImagiNation team is made up of Travis Maider, Ethan Kane, Lisa Berman, Emily Messing, Michael Cloutier, R.J. Oakley and Joseph Masses, along with coaches Susan Kane and Judy Maider.