Gill Elementary Global Finals team gets schoolwide send-off

  • The Destination Imagination Team from Gill Elementary School is headed to the Global Finals in Tennessee and got a send off by the whole school on Monday. May 22, 2017 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The Destination Imagination Team from Gill Elementary School is headed to the Global Finals in Tennessee and got a send off by the whole school on Monday. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The Destination Imagination Team from Gill Elementary School is headed to the Global Finals in Tennessee and got a send off by the whole school on Monday. From left are Djibril Diaw, Pearl Schatz-Allison, Abby Moore, Kole Broderick, Grace Parzych and Isaac Morton. May 22, 2017 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Published: 5/22/2017 8:45:34 PM

GILL — Students from Gill Elementary School lined the hallways with posters and cheers on Monday morning to send the school’s Destination Imagination team off to global finals.

Principal Conor Driscoll said the send-off started with the six sixth-graders from the team running through a banner and going down the hall into the all-purpose room at the school.

Driscoll and the team’s adviser, sixth-grade teacher Dave Grout, spoke to the students before the send-off, a reminder to the team and others as to what a big deal qualifying for this event was.

Driscoll added that the school has never had a team like this one qualify for a national or global competition. He said celebrating something like this is just as important for the community as the students.

“We make a huge deal of sports, but when you think about the role of schools in education, to have something like this be a big deal is really amazing,” he said.

Driscoll said the achievement speaks to the education they’ve had throughout their years at Gill Elementary.

“I think it says a lot about the kids, but I think it says a lot about the teachers they’ve had,” he said.

Destination Imagination is a program heavy on science, technology, engineering and math — disciplines that are sometimes grouped together under the term STEM — and problem solving.

Every year, Gill Elementary has students compete at the regional and state levels, but this is the first time students from the school have qualified for globals.

As a team, the youths have been working on engineering challenges since October. The team built two free-standing structures from balsa wood and glue, the goal being to have the lightest structures that could hold the most weight. The sixth-grade team’s structure held 535 pounds and weighed 48 grams, according to Grout.

The team started on their trip straight from the sendoff. They were planning to stay Monday night in Pennsylvania and reach Knoxville, Tenn., today.




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