Elementary school wins big at global competition

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - May 24, 2022, was a busy day for some of the kids at Saint Elizabeth Seton School in Rapid City. A group of seven kids called themselves the “Spiky Balloons” and the team took home first place in the Global Finals Destination Imagination Contest in Kansas City.

The competition combines hands-on learning with creativity to compete against other teams across the nation and the world. The team chose to be a part of the category “Daring Escape” where they built two devices and wrote a story that incorporated the two built machines and performed it in front of over 400 teams. The team manager and group practiced anywhere from two to four hours a week since November. Most of the team was unable to be at the award ceremony on Tuesday, but the team can recall every moment vividly when they learned they had won.

“You know, we were on this bus, and we were pretty spent it had been a busy four days and I know that the kids had really peaked, and they had done their best, but there were a lot of really good teams, and we knew that,” says Spiky Balloons team manager, Betsy Sage. “So, we stayed realistic, and we knew that the competition was tough, and they worked so hard.”

This is the first time that South Dakota has taken first place in the global event. Sage says she hopes to have more schools in South Dakota participate.

Participants from the winning South Dakota team include Maggie Honeycutt, Soraya Karim, Kellan Knapp, Brady Sage, Vihaan Purushottam, Tenley Sage, and Lara Sage.

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