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MAY 14, 2011 • ISSUE 122

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The 2011 Maharishi School DI team

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The winning senior boys’ team at the DI contest in Ames, Iowa

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One of the middle school girls’ teams performs its winning entry at the Iowa contest

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Zachary Sluser, Maharishi School graduate and former DI participant

Maharishi School Destination ImagiNation Teams Head to Global Finals

Five Maharishi School teams have placed first at the Iowa Destination ImagiNation competition. Next they head to the Global Finals at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on May 24-28, where 1,000 teams and 14,000 students from over 30 countries will showcase their talent and imagination.

Destination ImagiNation (DI) is the world’s largest creativity and problem-solving competition. In these events, students work together in a team to devise original solutions to mind-bending challenges.

Students spend several months together to work out their solutions, which can have theatrical, improvisational, or scientific focuses. They also need to think on their feet during the Instant Challenge portion of the contest, where they have to solve a problem as a group in 5 to 8 minutes.

"Destination ImagiNation was the first time my friends and I had the opportunity to create something entirely on our own,” said Zachary Sluser, a Maharishi School graduate, whose team won a 3rd and later a 6th place in the Global Finals. “It's a great program that naturally develops confidence and the collaborative spirit in all who participate. Maharishi School encourages creative problem solving in all of its classes, and the DI program is a natural extension and outlet for its students.”

Maharishi School has been competing at the Global Finals since 1992. Each year, over one-third of the teams representing Iowa are from Maharishi School. At the Global Finals, where every competitor is either a state champion or a national champion from another country, Maharishi School has won four world championships and has had 22 other top-ten finishes, making it one of the top performing schools in the world.

“Consciousness-Based education and Transcendental Meditation help the students expand their creativity, their energy and their coherence," said Mark Wilkins, DI coordinator. “The DI program helps students to see life as full of challenges to be solved, instead of a world fraught with problems. The kids are empowered by discovering new ways to creatively solve challenges."

The winning Maharishi School teams will perform at the Destination Imagination Showcase in Fairfield on May 21.

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