By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco will again host the northern region Destination Imagination event, which will bring thousands into town.
The northern regional competition encompasses all Indiana schools from just south of Indianapolis, north to the state line — meaning more than 70 teams, their coaches and their supporters will be at Smith-Green Community Schools to compete for the chance to go on to the state competition.
Destination Imagination encourages hands-on learning and creativity in fine arts, service learning and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Teams that advance from the Churubusco regional will compete at state, then advance to globals.
Local DI leaders have been working with the Regional Director, Deb Robertson, to bring the event back to ’Busco for a second time.
“Our town had many compliments last year about all of the businesses that put ‘Welcome DI’ on signs last year,” said Churubusco DI coach Nikki King. “It was a great show of our hometown hospitality. I think we did well last year.”
Mast and Churubusco DI Coordinator Julie Mast have been working together to make this year’s event even better than last year.
“These kids all work really hard for their one chance to advance to state,” King said. “If they don’t score in the top teams, their season ends that day.”
It was estimated that 1,500-2,000 visitors came to Churubusco for last year’s event.
All of those visitors means the group needs volunteers for the event. Those who can help should contact King at 385-3033. King said help is especially needed from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and volunteering for any time increments would be appreciated.
“Any help is a huge help,” King said. “This will bring many people to spend the whole day at our schools and in our community. Our town and schools are going to be very busy, but it will be amazing.”
Churubusco has three teams that will compete — elementary, junior high and university level teams.
The elementary team, “Busco Blues” consists of fifth graders Nick Ortez, Luke Brown, Carter Moses, Ben Dedrick, Kendall Stuckey, Alaina Lehman and Molly Wymer. The team is coached by Mast.
The junior high team, “Treedom” has six members: Cullen Blake, Hayden Brady, Joe Royer, Catherine Burgess, Emily Stanford and Tyler Miller. They are coached by Eric Seitz.
The university level team has three members who are seniors at Churubusco High School. The three seasoned members are Alex King, who has six years in DI and six invitationals to globals; Jessica Norden, three years in DI and four invitations to globals; and Savannah Foote, two years in DI and three invitations to globals.
The three senior members are three of the four-member team from last year that participated on two teams last year and advanced to globals with both teams. The group is coached by King.
“This program is an awesome educational program that teaches problem solving, teamwork, creativity, thinking outside the box and so much more,” King said.
The event is free to the public.
“We are so blessed to reside and participate in such a close-knit and supportive community,” King said.