October 4, 2023

UMW Alum Brings Destination Imagination to Spotsylvania

University of Mary Washington alumna Anne Roberts started and coordinated the first-ever  Destination Imagination teams at Thornburg Middle School with one of the teams ranking in an international competition.

“My students loved DI and I loved the chance to teach more open-ended, creative, and problem-oriented learning with my 19 students who competed this past year,” said Roberts, who received an M.Ed. in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree in linguistics  in 2010. “I even started incorporating some of the instant challenges into my curriculum.”

Destination Imagination inspires and equips students to become leaders and innovators through academic tournaments around the world. Students form teams in categories — including, fine arts, improv, technical/robotics, structural, service-learning, early learning, and science — and compete in regional, state and international competitions.

Roberts started three teams: a robotics/technical team, an improv team and a fine arts team. Each team, consisting of sixth through eighth graders, practiced a challenge throughout the year and then entered competitions. All three teams placed in a regional competition and two traveled to the state competition at James Madison University. The fine arts team ranked 18th at the international competition at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

“To get to the regional competition, it took a lot of fundraising,” said Roberts. “We were recognized by our school and the Spotsylvania School Board on June 23rd for our efforts. We raised 100 percent of the funds for the global competition, which totaled over $7,500.”

For more information on the Destination Imagination teams, check out their website: http://thornburgdifundraiser.weebly.com/.