The Sonic G Waves are back — and they're headed to the Destination Imagination Global Finals.
Destination Imagination is an organization that provides elementary school students with program guides to help the students turn imaginative ideas into reality by combining the arts and sciences, and a group of Long Beach students are excelling.
“I can’t emphasize enough how big this achievement is for them,” Christopher Steege, Destination Imagination supervisor at Lowell Elementary, said. “Aside from the learning curves, the hands-on creativity, the processes — they worked hard."
Last October, six students — Allegra Steege, Jade Steege, Evelyn Malsberger, Maya Geer, Emerson LaPorta and Harrison Armus — teamed together and called themselves the Sonic G Waves and participated in a Destination Imagination challenge.
That challenge includes telling a story using engineered elements, with judging based on technical designs and artistic presence. Other requirements included that the setting take place in an unlikely space and that the students create their own props.
For their submission, the Sonic G Waves created an imaginary world where a comet is about to hit earth and will ultimately bend time and add another day to the week. In this united world, there is one global president, and she must decide if that day will be declared an extra work day or an addition to the weekend.
To tell that story, the group created props using artistic and engineering elements like a "Reverberation Chamber," a cylindrical chamber made with recycled cardboard that amplifies sound when someone speaks into it. In the story, the tool amplifies the neurons inside of the president's head, helping her to think about her decision.
With their presentation, the Sonic G Waves won the first regional challenge, then went on to compete at the state level — and they won that too.
Now, the team is headed to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tenn., where they will be competing against 1,400 teams from 15 different countries.
"No one actually starts this, wins regional and then wins state their first year," Steege said. "Teams will do this for 10 years and never make it to globals."
But the road to the Global Finals is costly.
The team needs to raise $15,000 to get them there. The cost includes travel and boarding for the six students and the supervising parents. Additionally, the team needs to ship their props, which include stage equipment and electronics.
To raise money, the team has been selling lemonade and hosting bake sales, as well as flocking.
"We launched our version of "flocking" where we put giant waves and beach balls on lawns (it's traditionally flamingos), and the victim donates money to have the same done to their friends," Steege said.
Their version uses beach balls and waves, and they called it "waving."
"Instead of 'You've been flocked,' we're saying, 'You've been hit by a wave,'" he said.
Among the donors is Suzie Price, who Steege said expressed her fondness for the idea.
"She joked that we have to hit her house with a wave, so of course we moved the beach balls and the wave to her yard," he said. "We really appreciate that support."
The Destination Imagination Global Finals are happening Wednesday, May 23, through Saturday, May 26. For information on the Global Finals, go to globalfinals.org.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.