Organ Trail’ team going to Global Finals

The Pleasant Hill Middle School Destination Imagination team, ”Organ Trail,” recently placed first in the Medical Mystery Challenge at the Affiliate Tournament on April 6. The team will be leaving for the Global Finals in Kansas City, Mo. May 21- 25. Front row, from left are Jessica Clough and Lily Rodrigues. Back row, from left are Zoey Brott, Tressa Geyer, Ande McDonald and Lauren Cazares. Photo provided

The Destination Imagination team at Pleasant Hill Middle School recently placed first in the Medical Mystery Challenge at the Affiliate Tournament on April 6. The program applies a unique pedagogy aimed to empower students to take the lead, find solutions to real-world challenges quickly, collaboratively and creatively – and the Pleasant Hill team did just that.
The team, ”Organ Trail,” is comprised of seventh graders Zoey Brott, Lauren Cazares, Jessica Clough, Ande McDonald, Tressa Geyer and Lily Rodrigues, with team managers Renee Clough and Joan Hladky.
According to the program’s website, Destination Imagination ”provides unique educational experiences across seven project-based challenge types (including) technical, scientific, engineering, fine arts, improvisational, service learning, and early learning.
Each type of challenge has an academic stress and a skit to go with it, where participants must form and perform a solution in eight minutes, Hladky said. The skit the Pleasant Hill team performed was about a family on the Oregon Trail and a child who gets sick. The team made half of a covered wagon for its backdrop, and created a device to demonstrate symptoms of one of the deadliest diseases found on the Oregon Trail – cholera.
For the engineering component, Organ Trail created a symptomatic device of the disease cholera, which is a bacterial disease that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, usually spread in water.
The device created used a ”more intense version of the volcano effect” – mixing hydrogen peroxide, yeast and other ingredients to recreate the effect of an erupting volcano – causing the device to ”vomit,” team manager Joan Hladky said.
For that innovative performance, they took home first place and will be competing in the Global Finals in Kansas City, Mo., on May 21-25.
At Global Finals, 14,000 teams perform their solutions to one out 10 possible challenges over the span of five days. The teams have up to seven members. They also compete in the Instant Challenge division.
You can catch up with and support Pleasant Hill’s Destination Imagination team at its upcoming plant sale fundraiser on Saturday, April 27 at the Pleasant Hill Elementary School parking lot, 36400 OR-58, Pleasant Hill. The fundraiser will be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.



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