SPHS Destination Imagination

Apr 6, 2015

wunosphai43qaosavfdcImagination to innovation. Diverse approaches. Taking risks. Incorporating STEM, which is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Patience, flexibility, and persistence. Potatoes and world domination?

These are parts of the mission of and requirements for Destination Imagination.

Destination Imagination, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides project-based educational programs to foster creativity and innovation.

One of DI’s programs, the most popular, is Challenge.

At the start of a season, teams choose one of seven Challenges. After weeks spent creating, developing and practicing their solutions, they go to a local tournament. Top-scoring teams advance to state or country tournaments. The top level of the tournament is our Global Finals—the world’s largest celebration of creativity.

Our programs are developed annually to ensure they are relevant and align to National Education Standards, STEM standards, ELA Common Core Standards and Mathematics Common Core Standards. Every year, with the help of parent volunteers, educators, and subject matter experts, we design new and exciting Challenges for student teams to solve. (

Ever since middle school, for the last four years, George Barrone, Kanak Belgaum, Amaey Konkar, and Ellis Spellerberg have competed in DI-organized events. For the last three years, Jayce Lilly and Dimitri Augart-Peponis have been a part of the team.

The official team name? “The Fellas Over There with the Hella Good Hair.”




This past March 30th, the fellas placed first with a total score of 362.02 in the “Lose to Win” competition at the California state tournament.

Kyle Kan of South Pasadena High School’s Tiger newspaper writes:

For their challenge they were required to build a structure that could withstand a 10 pound pressure board. Then, they had to remove parts of the structure without it collapsing with a self-made device while also telling a story of transformation using stage prop that changed throughout the entire process.

For a little more detail, we rely on the official press release:

For their challenge “Lose to Win,” the team built a structure out of wood, playing cards, glue, and adhesive tape that weighed less than 75 grams (.16 lbs). During the tournament, a pressure board weighing 10 pounds was placed on top of the structure. The team then removed parts of the structure with a team-created removal device without the pressure board crushing the structure. While this was taking place, the team told a story about transformation and created a prop or set piece that was transformed during the presentation.

Proud father (we’re assuming) Lance Spellerberg writes: Imagine this: Six teenage boys–Amaey, Dimitri, Ellis, George, Jayce, and Kanak–create an engineering marvel. They dream up a script about potatoes and world domination. They are a juggernaut, taking the Destination Imagination regional cup, the state competition–and now they’re going to global finals!

Here is some of the feedback from the “Lose to Win” challenge appraisers:

“Excellent scenery, great humor in the dialog, brilliant potato costume.”

“Thank you for sharing your presentation with us. It was an amusing representation of an evil potato ruling the world. Good effort!”

“Spectacularly evil scientist. Best potato acting ever, deserving of Oscar for best supporting potato.”


Out of 252 teams that attended and competed in the California Destination Imagination state tournament, The Fellas are one of the 62 teams heading to the Global Finals.




To help The Fellas get to the finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, which is a global competition involving 8,000 students, Spellerberg has organized an Indiegogo campaign. The goal? Twelve thousand dollars.

Why so much money? Spellerberg explains: We are flying six boys from Los Angeles to Knoxville, TN, along with a team manager. We are feeding them (you know what it’s like to feed teenagers!). We need to pay for room, registration, and shipping their props.

So far, 5% of the goal has been reached and 22 days are left. Will you help The Fellas Over There with the Hella Good Hair go to the Destination Imagination finals?

“From what I’ve heard and seen, [Global] looks amazing with so much to do, so I think it’s going to be an awesome experience for the team,” Belgaum said. “If all goes well, I think we can place in our challenge and come back home with yet another trophy.” (Kyle Kan/Tiger Online)

Read Kan’s entire article at

For a more in-depth look at Imagination destination, visit The Global Finals begin Monday, May 18th and continue through Saturday, May 23rd. For details about the finals, visit

To learn more about The Fellas, check out their Indiegogo campaign or email for details.

We think helping The Fellas is a helluva good deed and have made our donation. Let’s send The Fellas Over There with the Hella Good Hair to Knoxville.


Global Finals 2014

Global Finals 2014





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