San Ramon Valley fourth-graders qualify for Destination Imagination Global Finals

The 'Arcadiacs' are headed to Kansas City for international competition

A group of fourth graders in the San Ramon Valley have proved their creative and intellectual might at a statewide competition in STEM studies, qualifying for the Global Finals of the Destination Imagination educational challenge.

Named the "Arcadiacs," the team contains some of the brightest young minds in the San Ramon Valley and include Juliana Clinton, Joshua Kessel and Justus Kim from the San Ramon Valley Christian Academy, Michael Pinto from Bella Vista Elementary and Briar Chang from John Baldwin Elementary.

The Arcadiacs are among approximately 8,000 students representing more than 1,400 teams that have advanced to participate in the 2019 Global Finals, which will be held in In Kansas City, Mo., May 22-25.

"I remember our first meeting and how surprised I was at how well these kids worked together and each took ownership for a piece of the puzzle. That’s been a huge advantage for us. They have a diverse set of strengths, so it was pretty amazing to see these young kids zero in and use those strengths to contribute to the team in their own special way.” said Christine Kessel, team manager of Arcadiacs.

At the finals, the Arcadiacs will compete in the “Game On!” competition, which is one of seven open ended challenges that require competitors to apply their science, technology, engineering and math knowledge, as well as how that knowledge intersects with their talents in creative arts such as improvisation, theater arts, writing, communication, innovation, teamwork, community service and social entrepreneurship.

According to Destination Imagination officials, this year the competition saw more than 150,000 students compete in tournaments in 30 countries in an attempt to qualify for the Global Finals.

Destination Imagination is a volunteer-led non-profit organization that works to encourage STEM studies and critical thinking among students, as a way to encourage the next generation of innovators.

To learn more about Destination Imagination or to support the Arcadiacs trip to global finals, readers are encouraged to log onto the organization’s California site, choose donate and designate the funds for the Arcadiacs team.

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