Destination Imagination (DI) is a hands-on program where students take part in a challenge in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. The Uplift North Hills team decided on service learning. Team members are all 7th graders: Trisha Anand, Vinisha Inaganti, Sanjana Kalidindi, Paula Olascoaga, Monica Orozco, Saiveda Rallabandi, and Sakshi Sanjeev, whose team name is “Crazy for Coffee”, decided to focus their research on stress.
“We decided on stress because we saw it as a big issue at our school, and we see it in our parents sometimes when they come home from work,” said Kalidini.
DI does not allow adults to assist students but act as an administrator. The group researched ways to relieve stress for scholars looking into aroma therapy, yoga but after attending a TEDx conference the girls were inspired to build a labyrinth.
“We wanted to do something that would be sustainable even after we graduate. We wanted to leave something behind for future scholars,” said Sanjee.
The scholars began their project in October and once they decided on their topic, the group had to develop a plan to construct the labyrinth. The labyrinth will encourage meditation for focus and relaxation. The girls put together a business plan on cost of material, maintenance, construction and how the funds would be raised.
Before long the girls headed to the local competition in Anna, TX, where they presented their plan, created a meme for their project, created a live presentation and took part in an instant challenge. Uplift North Hills qualified for state where they placed 4th. The top seven groups moved on to Global Finals in Knoxville. While many of the Uplift North Hills scholars in the group have participated in years prior, none have advanced to Global Finals.
“It’s so hard to get this far,” said Anand.
The group will be heading to Global Finals from May 25th to May 28th but they need our support. The group is $1,000 short to meet their goal to fund their trip to attend Global Finals. www.GoFundMe.com/UNHPDIGlobalsFund
“This is not only important for Uplift North Hills but for girls in general,” said Stephanie Orozco, adult sponsor for the team. “Many girls tend to lose interest in STEM and this a group of girls that has made it to Global Finals.”