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Maharishi School students world champions in creativity contest

Good News Ezine
Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA
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15 June 2007

This was a banner year for Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment teams participating in the Destination ImagiNation program, the world's premier creative problem-solving competition. Eight teams came in first in the Iowa state competition and advanced to Global Finals, where the senior boys team won first place and a prestigious Renaissance Award for outstanding design, engineering, execution, and performance.

World championship team members Ace Boothby, Noah Caplan, Donnie Chell, Jake Gratzon, Tim Shaw, Owen Stowe, and Newlin Wilkins impressed judges with their teamwork and their display of both artistic and scientific creativity.

To win the top score in the long-term problem, the boys wrote and performed a cosmic mystery play. The play features the planets as funk band members in search of their drummer Pluto, who has mysteriously disappeared.

Amid live music and rotating scenery, the boys unveil their pi├Ęce de resistance, a homemade binary computer precisely engineered to compute the speed at which Pluto is traveling based on an input of distances between melting ice shards.

Noah Caplan designed the computer and Jake Gratzon built it, integrating tin foil and copper wire electromagnets and switch contacts. The judges described the computer as 'highly sophisticated and amazingly detailed. What a WOW!'

Of the 200,000 students participating in the DI program worldwide, the top 8,000 qualified this year for Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee. There 991 teams from nearly 50 states and 13 foreign countries convened for two days of competition, celebration, and pin trading, a popular DI custom that allows team members to meet and interact in a spirit of camaraderie.

Although many schools offer DI only to students in talented and gifted programs, any student at Maharishi School can participate. The School has a history of success at the highest level of competition. In 2005, the School sent seven teams to Global Finals and brought home more awards than the entire state of California! Of the 15 state championship teams representing the state of Iowa this year, eight of them were from Maharishi School, a new record.

Mark Wilkins is the DI coordinator for Maharishi School. He coached three teams this year, and has been involved with DI for the past eight years as team parent and manager.

Copyright © 2007 Maharishi University of Management Good News! Ezine

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