Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dudes and Peacocks

After months of collaboration, frustration, and creation, the boys reached Destination Imagination!  Scoot and the Caterpillar joined teams this year, and both teams chose engineering challenges.

Scoot and The Dudes chose Breaking DI News, in which they were to build a weight-bearing structure out of newspaper and present an international news story, using recycled props. 
The structure's design looked familiar to some of us.  (Sorry about the picture quality.)  Sadly, it didn't survive the beginning of the weight testing.  The Dudes' strength was in their creative presentation of an odd little story.  On January 25th, a PETA protester expressed her views on seal hunting by greeting the Canadian Minister of Fisheries with a pie in the face. 
The Dudes did a simple reenactment of the scene, using a cream-filled origami newspaper water bomb as the pie.   Then they repeated it as if all the characters were mimes (no quotes available), then pirates ("Seal hunting for all, ye scurvy audience!"), then spies ("Here's a top-secret speech...").  They cleaned up their cream very responsibly, and it was a funny show.  They tied for second place.

The Caterpillar's team, the Fire Breathing Peacocks, selected the DIrect Deposit challenge, in which they were to deliver objects to unseen targets across a barrier, and do a skit about risk analysis. 
Their team name was pretty cool -- except that maybe it fit too well.  Pride and contention got in the way, and made creation difficult.  Of the six team members who began, one quit, one got sick (and tired?), and one was kicked off at the last minute for sabotaging another's device.  Seven children are allowed to contribute, so they pulled in one more the day before the tournament.  Rollo wanted to be the one, but I think the older sister who joined was probably more helpful. 
In the skit, a family group consisting of a dad (the Caterpillar), a daughter, and a grandfather with a checkered past ("I've been to jail before!") decided to go on a picnic in a park which was closed for construction.  They asked the audience for ideas to supplement the grandfather's lunch of haggis sandwiches, pickled pigs' feet, and chocolate-covered grasshoppers.  The crane operator warned them off, but they decided to use the intricate crane to send their picnic over the wall, anyway.  Sadly, they ran out of time after their first attempt.  I doubt they earned very many points.  But they were brave to try, given the circumstances.  And, as the difficulty of the challenge made it rather unpopular, they were the only entrants in their level.  So they were awarded first place.  Will this patched-up muster of peacocks try to get their act together and compete in the state finals?

That remains to be seen.  But I can testify that, on the home front, the creativity continues:
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