Lakeview Elementary DI team advances

Published 9:54 am Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Lakeview Elementary Ugly Bacon team includes Tanner Conn, Ryan Utz, Morgan Aanes, Brennan Gilliam, Maddy Sevcik, Alex Funk and Jordan Mullenbach. The students’ advisor is Anna Nordlocken. -Provided

The Lakeview Elementary Ugly Bacon team includes Tanner Conn, Ryan Utz, Morgan Aanes, Brennan Gilliam, Maddy Sevcik, Alex Funk and Jordan Mullenbach. The students’ advisor is Anna Nordlocken. -Provided

After achieving honors for creativity, teamwork and innovation in regional and state academic tournaments, The Ugly Bacon has earned the right to compete in Destination Imagination’s Global Finals, the world’s largest celebration of student creativity, which will take place May 25 to May 28 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Team members from Lakeview Elementary include Jordan Mullenbach, Tanner Conn, Ryan Utz, Brennan Gilliam, Alex Funk, Maddy Sevcik and Morgan Aanes.

The students will compete with other teams in the Close Encounters Challenge, one of seven open-ended challenges that require students to apply science, technology, engineering and math skills, in addition to their talents in improvisation, theater arts, writing, project management, communication, innovation, teamwork, community service and social entrepreneurship.

“This is a great honor, as we have not had any other Albert Lea team make it to this level,” said District Destination Imagination Coordinator Anna Nordlocken and team manager of The Ugly Bacon.

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Destination Imagination has had a positive impact on more than 1.5 million students who have taken part in its acclaimed Challenge program. In Albert Lea, more than 75 students in grades 4-12 have participated in Destination Imagination over the past five years with the help of many teachers and parents in the community. According to a press release, Lakeview Elementary has always had great representation at both regional and state tournaments and has had multiple teams the past few years.

This year, 150,000 students have participated in tournaments throughout the U.S. and 30 countries in hopes of earning a spot at the Global Finals competition in May.

The Ugly Bacon is among more than 8,000 students representing more than 1,400 teams that will advance to Global Finals.

“The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. “Quantitative reasoning, collaborative problem solving, risk taking, collaboration, presentations and thinking on your feet are some of the important skills learned in the program.”

Destination Imagination is a leader in project-based learning opportunities that blend STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education with the arts and social entrepreneurship. Its academic challenges are designed to teach kids how to think, not what to think, and then present their solutions at regional and state tournaments.

Each year, DI competitions begin with a regional tournament, where team solutions are assessed by a panel of trained appraisers, ranging from educators to artists to engineers. Each team solution is scored on a variety of elements, including originality, workmanship, presentation and teamwork. Teams with the highest scores advance to the Affiliate (state or country) tournaments. The top-tiered teams from the Affiliate tournaments advance to Global Finals.

Destination Imagination, Inc. dedicates itself to enriching the global community by providing opportunities for learners of all ages to explore and discover using the creative process from imagination to innovation.

For more information about Global Finals, visit

Destination Imagination, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led non-profit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. The most popular education offering is the Challenge Program, where student teams solve open-ended STEM, arts and service learning Challenges and present their solutions to trained appraisers. Founded in 1982, Destination Imagination has impacted more than 1.5 million students. To learn more, visit