Several Saline teams proceed to state-wide creative competition after success at regionals
"Saline typically does really well at regionals," said Ginger Liemohn, a volunteer with Saline DI. "It makes us feel really proud."
Six of Saline's teams placed first and one placed third. Another team participated in the competition, but in the non-competitive division for youth-aged kindergarten through second grade.
DI is a nonprofit organization that runs an international tournament which engages about 125,000 young people, aged kindergarten through college, in team-oriented challenges.
Each year, the tournament features seven "central challenges." Each team chooses one of them and spends months working on a project to fulfill its requirements.
The challenges are classified as multidisciplinary, integrating elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with fine arts and service learning.
"It’s unlike science Olympiad or robotics where it focuses on one niche," Liemohn said.
This year's science challenge was to use wind energy research to design and create kinetic art, and to present an original story that features an "invisible visitor."
There also are smaller, timed instant challenges teams face at the competition.
"They never know what it’s going to be like and they have to think quickly," Liemohn said.
Saline's seven teams will proceed to the state-wide Affiliate Finals on April 20 at Central Michigan University. From there, any team that places second or better will proceed to Global Finals, May 22 in Knoxville, TN.
"We usually have one or two of the teams go onto the global finals," Liemohn said. "That’s just an amazing experience."