Students at Destination ImagiNation on Saturday put months of hard work on display in a series of challenges that mixed critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving.
The regional tournament created a convention-like atmosphere at Durango High School, where almost 50 teams and 280 kindergarten through 12th-grade students from Southwest Colorado competed in seven categories.
Theres seven events with teams of two to seven kids who work for three to four months to solve a challenge, said Lynn Schneider, the regional director of Destination ImagiNation.
In the science-based Solar Stage competition The Pagosa Imaginators dressed as characters from The Justice League for a skit that took a goofy approach to explaining a concept.
In the skit, characters including Batman, Wonder Woman and Justin Beiber lit up a powerless Los Angeles using an egg-like device that turned sound waves from the sun into electricity.
The group made a prototype of a contraption lined with piezoelectric material that would, in theory, attract and absorb sound vibrations from the sun and turn them into electricity, said Pagosa High School Junior Gabby Pajack, whos been on the Imaginators for seven years.
The sun actually makes a lot of sound, but theres no medium in space for the waves to travel through, Pajack said.
Down the hall, Best of Broadway, a team of sixth-grade students from Leadville Middle School, put together a PVC pipe frame for their movie set.
The challenge that were doing is called coming attractions, and we have to create our own movie with a sound track and special effects, said team member Anne Marie Duel.
The group planned to create a special effect by having one team member stand behind the cloth set while lighting it from the other side to create a shadowy silhouette effect, Anne Marie said.
One of the younger teams, the Cardinals of Dolores Elementary School, put their imaginations to work in the Duct tape sculpture and improv contests.
Our team is supposed to build, like, a Duct tape structure, all out of Duct tape, said second-grader Morgan Waggoner.
Were trying to figure out an Earth or a sun for a solar system, but we already have the blue so well probably do the Earth, said third-grader Sydney Smith, holding blue Duct tape.
The team also showed strong problem-solving techniques in the improv competition.
Prompted with the challenge of ants, bees and termites taking over the school, the team methodically addressed each issue.
For the termites, we put this wood termite catcher and traps everywhere, Morgan said. For the bees, we put a bunch honey and a tube with like a bunch of smoke, and for the ants, we caught them with giant picnic baskets and then threw them all in the river!