Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 15, 2013

Destination Imagination

Wind energy project earns seventh-graders trip to Knoxville.

Sugar the pink-spotted cow from Cowtopia searched on Moo-Harmony for the perfect bull to take to the ball.

She scrolled through her mooPad — made of a cardboard box, cardboard tubing, paper and duct tape — until she found a bull that caught her eye.

“Moo-la-la,” Sugar said. “He’s perfect.”

There was only one problem. The bull was from Earth.

How would Sugar reach him?

Tyrone, known as the scientist of Cowtopia, had an idea. Sugar could use his portal, the Wind Ray 2.0, to open an entrance to Earth.

A group of Eastern Junior High School and Acacia Academy seventh-graders performed this skit for the residents of Century Villa Health Care on a recent evening. The project earned them a spot in the Destination Imagination Global Finals later this month.

Destination Imagination is an educational program where teams of students solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. And they do all of it without any help from adults.

The six students on the team chose to tackle the science project “Windvisible.” They were challenged to explore how the science of wind energy can be used to make kinetic art move. They had to create a piece of kinetic art that moves continuously for 15 seconds during their presentation. They also were tasked with creating an original story that features an invisible character and incorporates some of their wind energy research.

And, oh yeah, they have only a $125 budget to work with.

Most of their props and set were crafted from recycled materials.

Their costumes were made out of old T-shirts, headbands and an apron they sewed themselves. Even their portal was recycled. They gutted an old box fan, removing everything but the blades. They glued a decorated piece of foam to the blades to make it look like a swirling vortex.

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