Community welcomes 5,000 for state's 'largest celebration of student creativity'
More than 5,000 K-12 students, educators and family members from across Michigan will converge on Central Michigan University and Mount Pleasant Friday and Saturday for the state's largest celebration of student creativity.
During the Destination Imagination state competition, teams of as many as seven students will collaborate to solve challenges. More than 1,500 students will fill classrooms and hallways in the Bovee University Center, Grawn, Moore, Pearce and Anspach halls, and Rose Center, McGuirk Arena and the Events Center.
The assigned challenges involve the sciences, technology, fine arts/theater, improvisation, structure/engineering and service learning/community outreach.
The event will conclude Saturday evening with an awards ceremony in a packed McGuirk Arena.
Destination Imagination is the largest CMU event outside of athletics, said Cal Seelye, director of events and conference services.
Ted Grossnickle, director of Michigan's Affiliate DI Tournament, said the campus environment honors the months of work students put into preparing for the competition.
"DI global finals are at the University of Tennessee, and we replicate that experience at CMU," Grossnickle said. "CMU shows the students their work is important. It's recognition of how special these students are."
Grossnickle earned a bachelor's degree in recreation, parks and leisure services administration from CMU in 2010 and his master's in educational leadership in 2012.
He chose CMU after attending Destination Imagination events here in third through 11th grade.
"Through DI, students learn campus quickly. They feel comfortable and safe at CMU. DI is a confidence-building event — it's the vehicle we use for leadership development and creating the next generation of innovative thinkers," Grossnickle said.
Grossnickle is marketing and special events manager for the Huron Valley School District in Oakland County.