Help a team reach its destination

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Nearly every day, dozens of local sports teams fill our headlines — as they should. The young men and women at our schools and in our community put in countless hours preparing and representing our county well in nearly every sport imaginable.

But sometimes, other groups don’t always get the recognition they deserve. That’s why I was so excited this week to hear about the success of Thompson Middle School’s Destination Imagination team.

Not only did this group of young men and women bring home the first-place trophy from last weekend’s Destination Imagination state tournament, they earned a perfect score while doing so.

Destination Imagination is a creative, problem-solving competition featuring team and instant challenges.

The team challenge requires the team to create a skit demonstrating how to solve a particular problem using props, costumes, music and more. During the instant challenge, the team is presented with a surprise problem it must solve within a time limit.

“For example, the team could walk into a room to find 50 toothpicks, one sheet of paper and two inches of masking tape and be told to construct a bridge in five minutes that will hold the most weight possible before breaking,” TMS teacher and Destination Imagination team manager Luci Tucker told me this week.

I think these challenges really prepare these kids for their futures. As anyone in the business world knows, you often have to think on your feet, improvise creative solutions and work as a team.

As a result of the team’s performance at the state competition, they will now compete against teams from across the world at the global competition in Tennessee next month.

But they need our help to get there. Over the next few weeks, the students must raise about $5,000 to fund their trip.

Donations can be made by contacting Tucker at 682-5710 or by email at

Neal Wagner is the city editor for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at 669.3131 ext. 17 or by email at