Friday, June 12, 2015

We Are IT! Ladies Participate in Global Competition

Pictured from Left to Right: London Eberly, Kate Schinaman, Libby Kaibas, Paige Heitkamp, and Hope Falkowski. Not pictured: Becca Martin.
A team of local young ladies recently returned from Destination Imagination’s (DI) Global Finals, the largest creative thinking and problem solving competition in the world. Held in Knoxville, Tennessee, the team was among more than 13,000 students representing more than 1,400 teams that advanced to Global Finals.

Destination Imagination is an educational program where teams of students are immersed in the creative process needed to solve open-ended challenges, and then present their solutions at regional and state tournaments. If they win at those levels, teams may receive an invitation to the global finals.

The team consisted of young ladies who participated in Edison Community College’s We Are IT!, an annual science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) program. All from Tipp City, team members included London Eberly, Hope Falkowski, Paige Heitkamp, Libby Kaibas, Becca Martin, and Kate Schinaman.

The team, dubbed Double Digits, competed in the Feary Tales category, one of seven challenges that required participants to apply S.T.E.M. principles, improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork, and community service throughout the competition. The team placed 39th overall in their category of over 60 teams.

“I am so incredibly proud of these girls. They have shown perseverance and stamina through a very tough process, and they are all so talented,” said Team Manager Shawn Falkoski.

Kate Schinaman said of the trip, “I really enjoyed the entire experience… opening ceremonies, pin trading, meeting people from other countries, the workshops… it was all a lot of fun!”

“I agree,” chimed in Paige Heitkamp, “we learned so much from the other teams. The Duct Tape ball was a lot of fun, too!”

In addition to the competition, the girls attended the Alice programming language workshop together. They also participated in other workshops with topics including sound effects, costuming, The Voice music training hosted by The Exchange, and Lion King animal movements sponsored by Disney. Buzz Aldren hosted a workshop and Paula Abdul was also in attendance for dance training.

Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million young people and adults who have benefitted from taking part in its acclaimed Challenge Program. This year, another 100,000 young people competed in tournaments throughout the U.S. and in 30 countries to earn a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.

“The Destination Imagination Program allows students kindergarten through university level to learn and experience the creative process,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. “We’ve seen the development of superior aptitudes in analytical thinking, leadership, project management, teamwork, communication, research and innovation in hundreds of thousands of youth since our organization’s inception three decades ago, and we believe Destination Imagination has the potential to bridge the gap between what is taught in our schools and the thinking skills our youth will need to succeed in the world of the future.”

This year will mark the 10th anniversary for Edison Community College’s We Are IT! program, which has encouraged over 1,500 young ladies to explore S.T.E.M. fields. Scheduled for Friday, November 13, this year’s one day, hands-on program is open to young women in grades 8–10. Registration information will become available in August. For more information, contact Cathy Barrow by calling 937-778-7885 or emailing

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