By Joseph Hamrick
Some people catch on quick.
In its first year of competing in Destination ImagiNation, Greenville Christian School is sending two teams to the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals competition on May 22-25 in Knoxville, Tenn.
The two teams are comprised of one third grade team, the Backyard Pit Crew, coached by Brent Money; and the fourth and fifth grade team, J.W. West, is coached by Tom Witt.
The Backyard Pit Crew is a technical team, and this year’s problem was to use three different types of energy to propel vehicles to specific targets.
To help prepare the kids for the competition, Money had the team bring any toys they had to find out how they worked.
After a lot of trial and error, Money said the team used three different systems; gravity, air and kinetic energy, to propel their vehicles.
According to Money, his team has grown immensely in the months leading up to the competition.
“The maturity growth and ability to focus on a task is light years ahead of where they were since September,” he said. “They recognized what they need to do to improve. They’ve worked really, really hard.”
With the global competition weeks away, Money said it is a surreal feeling preparing the kids to compete against more than 30 different countries.
“It’s overwhelming in a lot of ways,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great chance.”
The J.W. West team competed in the scientific challenge of the year, which is titled Wind Divisible, where teams used wind energy to power kinetic art in a creative manner.
The team told the story of a mail order bride (wind energy) that cleaned up a messy town.
“The town is comprised of 100 percent men,” Witt said. “It starts out very trashy, then she comes and makes it clean. It’s very funny.”
The team built a wedding ring out of a large yard ornament where the diamond in the middle of the ring spins when the wind hits it.
Both teams mirrored each other in the regional and state competitions, coming in first in regional and third at state.
“It’s been a blast to watch the students grow,” he said. “To see how God has gifted them.”
Currently the teams are trying to raise the $10,000 necessary to send the kids to the competition. The teams held a Spirit Night at Sweet Frog in Greenville and are seeking individuals and businesses to become sponsors of the teams.
Money said it has been good to see not only GCS, but the entire community come together.
“It’s exciting to watch Greenville Independent School District and Greenville Christian School teams competing in globals,” he said. “It shows a lot about our town. Our students can compete with anyone.”