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Destination Imagination helps kids expand their creative problem-solving

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Posted at 8:38 AM, Mar 07, 2023

HELENA — Four teams from St. Andrew School took home 1st place in Destination Imagination’s Montana Creativity Quest State Tournament in February.

“Teamwork, collaboration, project management. It's all about creative problem-solving. And a lot of those skills are things that employers are going to be looking for in the future. You know, not just employees that have degrees or experience but, you know, employees that have fresh ideas and, you know, can do innovation,” says Montana DI Affiliate Director and mom at St. Andrew, Alyce Lachney.

Destination Imagination is a competition in which students compete in teams to develop solutions to challenges. These challenges are split into two different formats. There are team challenges with such topics as technical and improvisational. And there are instant challenges that must be completed in the moment.

On February 25, four teams from St. Andrew School won 1st place at the state tournament. That was out of the 12 teams that participated in the state tournament. Lachney brought the program back to Helena after she and her seventh-grade son, Austin Lachney, participated in it back in Minnesota. 17 teams now exist in Montana compared to the one team from last year.

“And next year we're hoping to have double that. We already have so much interest from other parents that heard about the tournament and friends of kids that have been in it,” says Lachney.

Students at St. Andrew brought back 1st place in the Fine Arts and engineering categories.

Students highlighted the ways in which the program has expanded their creative and team-oriented problem-solving.

“Oh, it's very fun. And you get to work with my team, and teamwork, all that jazz,” says Austin Lachney.

“Probably like the teamwork, and to like not give up too, to like to persevere,” says seventh grader, Catherine Hapfensperger.

“Makes me more creative. I'd say that.” says fourth grader, Carly Rush.

The winning teams have been invited to the global finals with students from throughout the world. But due to funding constraints, students from St. Andrew may not participate this year.