The Gifted Students of Marshfield Junior High school is a small but mighty team of three seventh and four eighth graders participating in a Destination Imagination competition. Each year students from all over the U.S. and the world compete to solve various S.T.E.A.M. challenges designed to teach the creative process. In addition, they are to present their solutions at tournaments.
“I decided my students needed to do a competition,” says Gifted Education Teacher Angela Hoefer, who teaches at Marshfield Junior High and High School. “It gives them some pressure, helps them feel success and failure depending on how they do.” She wanted to first enter kids in 2020, but Covid stopped them. So in 2021, those seventh and eighth-grade teams entered a virtual competition. They received first and second place in the State competition. This win allowed them to participate in the Global finals. But they were unable to enter due to the cost of global entry.
What makes these competitions so unique is that the students have to solve the challenges without any assistance from anyone outside the team, including the teachers. “This year, the eighth-grade team had to create a backdrop frame using P.V.C. pipes. When they got the pipes, though, all of them were in the wrong size. The big thing is that there can not be any outside interference for these competitions.” Hoefer recalled, “So I reached out to one of our maintenance guys who agreed to teach them how to cut and cement the pipes themselves” So far, the seventh-grade group, called the Thunder Jays, took first in their division at the regional competition. At the same time, the eighth-grade team, The Contwistadors, placed second.
With how much enthusiasm the students have had in learning and competing, Hoefer is looking to get both teams into global finals, which take place in Kansas City this year. It will be challenging, as registration fees are $5,500 per team and do not include travel or hotel expenses.
Therefore, the teams have been doing as much fundraising as possible. So far have raised $6,600 and are looking to raise an additional $8,400 before April 12, as that is when registration is due. Currently, the teams are selling Little Ceasers Pizza kits which you can order through the Q.R. code. If you want to donate directly, you can email Hoefer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mailing Attn: J.H. Gifted Education, 370 State Highway D.D., Marshfield, MO 65706. Please consider helping these local teams take a step to a worldwide stage.
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