MOUNT VERNON — Matching their imagination, creativity and improvisational skills against 11 other teams, the Golden Eagles of East Elementary represented Mount Vernon in the statewide Destination Imagination contest held Saturday on the Mount Vernon High School/Middle School campus. It was the first time Mount Vernon schools were represented in the state match.
The Golden Eagles competed in the Central Challenge D: Do or DI. They had seven minutes to prepare a five-minute skit about a threatened thing in danger of extinction and an unimpressive superpower. The appraisers, or judges, observed the preparations and took note of the team members’ interactions during that phase of the contest.
The impromptu skit was called “The Day We Almost Drowned the Whole World.” As the plot unfolded, the audience discovered that the Eagle family had created a glacier-melting machine that had worldwide repercussions. While the “parents” became concerned, the boys did not. They were thrilled that school was closed. When the unimpressive superpower intervened (revealed to the cast only once the performance began) the machine was shut down and the world was saved.
Although dealing with a serious topic, the skit included touches of humor and rapid-fire dialogue that had the audience laughing out loud. Team manager Steve Stein said he has enjoyed watching the pupils’ sense of humor develop over time. He said the sense of timing is one result of the participants working together as a team.
“I think it was different because it was in a classroom rather than on a stage,” said team member Conrad Stein.
“Plus we got a different threatened thing,” added Aiden Clarkson. “This time we had a glacier and last time it was a gopher tortoise.”
“The unimpressive superpower this time was being able to smell your feet from inside your shoes,” said Ethan Buhrer.
“We were a little nervous,” admitted Mary Harris and Grace Eads.
“State competition is just as complicated [as regional] but it feels better because we’ve done it before,” said Noah Zoldak.
The Golden Eagles also competed in an instant challenge to showcase their creative problem solving skills, but did not place in the top three spots in their category.
“They are disappointed,” Stein said after the results were announced, “but the loss was not unexpected [by me]. They knew that they did poorly in their instant challenge, and the improv elements they received were difficult to incorporate. We are all very proud of them and they are already discussing what they will do differently next year.”