Scripps Ranch Kids are Global Champs!

Destination Imagination (DI) is a fun, hands-on program that fosters students’ creativity through solving open-ended challenges with a STEM—science, technology, engineering, math—emphasis. Challenge categories include: Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improv, and Service Learning.

After choosing a category, teams of students work together to develop an innovative solution to the published challenge. Teams then showcase their solutions at a regional competition and have the opportunity to advance to the state tournament and Global Finals.

A team of Scripps Ranch area middle school students won the regional competition in February, became California state champions in April, and where honored to win first place in the DI Global Finals in Knoxville, TN! More than 17,000 people attended the Global Finals competition, with teams from 48 states and 15 countries around the world. Winning the global championship is a tremendous accomplishment for this local team of dedicated students.

Team members began their journey last September when they chose to solve the Scientific Challenge that had a focus on cryptography. For the solution the team developed a humorous eight-minute play depicting a middle school student on a secret mission of self-discovery while trying to avoid peer pressure and bad influences.

The play included hilarious characters (top picture) that depicted typical middle school problems including body odor, pimples, braces, homework, and drama. In the end the middle school student uncovers his true values, thereby decrypting himself. Their solution included many elements of encryption, mechanical and electrical engineering, and physics.

DI is a volunteer-led, educational nonprofit with a 35-year history of developing critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills through a challenging and fun process that kids absolutely love. More than 150,000 students participate in Destination Imagination annually, boosting their curiosity and confidence, while also building amazing skills in leadership, communication, teamwork, project management, and more. Check out

DI teams form in the September/October time frame. If you are interested in forming or joining a team, please email [email protected]

Dan Smith, DI Team Coach and SRCA Distinguished Volunteer 2017