Two teams of Yukon students will travel outside the territory this spring after strong performances at the Destination Imagination Yukon tournament on February 28.

Destination Imagination (DI) is an extracurricular program where teams of students solve openended challenges and present the solutions at tournaments.

Alex Gray is in Grade 5 at Hidden Valley Elementary School. His team, the Northern Fiddlesticks, will be in Vancouver this weekend to participate in the DI B.C. provincial tournament. “What I like about DI is that you’re using all school subjects at the same time,” says Gray. “You’re using math, you’re using art, you’re using science, you’re using creativity. It kind of activates your whole brain.”

DI challenges do range across all school subjects. The one thing they have in common is that they must be presented as a story. “I like that DI is so different from anything else,” says Tasha Elliott from Vanier Catholic Secondary. “I’ve never participated in a scientifi c challenge that had to be incorporated into a play before. I think it’s fun.”

Elliot’s team was selected to attend DI Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee this May by the non-profit Destination Imagination Yukon Society. Every year, over 20,000 elementary to university level students from over a dozen countries compete at the global fi nals.

Vanier’s team name, KERRB, is an acronym of its members’ last names: (Marika) Kitchen, (Tasha) Elliott, (Francis) Reid, (Jack) Royle and (Molly) Brooksbank. “Our team is really excited,” says Marika Kitchen, who was instrumental in pulling KERRB together. “I wasn’t expecting to go to Tennessee and was really surprised when we got the call down to the offi ce. We were stunned.”

This is the third year Yukon Education has supported the volunteer-led DI program. Yukon Education pays all team start-up fees and has committed to pay a third of a team’s costs of going to the global fi nals. “DI Yukon’s board set a goal last fall to send one team to Global Finals 2015,” said Johanne Koser, DI Yukon’s affi liate director. “We’re so excited to be able to give these kids this opportunity and hope to see the program grow even more next year.”

DI Yukon has also received $5,000 from Cold Climate Innovation at the Yukon Research Centre as well as signifi cant discounts from Air North. Students and board members alike are still raising money to help both teams cover costs.

If you’d like more information about DI or would like to donate, contact Johanne at diyukon@ gmail.com.