Andover represents at DI Global finals; Alumni team wins only state medal

Courtesy photoAndover's University Level alumni team, which medaled at the Destination Imagination Globals this spring, included, back row, from left, Robert Hsu, Deepak Mani and Dan Murray and, front row, from left, Rachel Christ and coach Stephanie Maze-Hsu. 

Albert Einstein once said that logic can get you from “A” to “B,” but “imagination can take you everywhere.”

For four teams representing Andover, imagination led them to Knoxville, Tenn., in May to take on thousands of the world’s most creative minds in the Destination Imagination Global Finals.

A six-member alumni team that included four graduates of the Andover public schools earned the only medal from Massachusetts. 

The MADI Alums team took top honors in both their central “Feary Tales” challenge and instant challenge at the competition. The team is comprised of a combination of four students from Andover and two from another Massachusetts community who met at the Global Finals several years ago.

Now in college, the students led by coach Stephanie Maze-Hsu have continued to compete in Destination Imagination in the university-level alumni division.

Making the trip to the 2015 Globals were Andover alumni Rachel Christ, Dan Murray and Robert Hsu, together with Eliot Littlefield and Deepak Mani. Teammate Rebecca Doolan, the fourth Andover alumnus, was unable to attend.

Andover’s middle school team of Susan Matteucci, Marilyn Cardin, Sabine Haskel, Sara Earl, Anna Higgins and Meghan McDonough, coached by Doherty Middle School teacher Ken Matteucci, finished fourth in its age group’s central challenge and placed 11th overall.

Two separate elementary teams also made the trip to the finals: The 5 Muskateers, which included Shreya and Sana Godhani, Meredith Shattack, Kyla Foohey and Isha Mehta, coached by Manisha Godhani and Nipa Mehta; and The Andover Aliens, which included Ohad Mamet, Alex Shieh, Mara Duran-Clark and Amber Banks, coached by Sue Yuen Kim.

The Muskateers finished in the top 20 in the Lose to Win challenge, a task requiring teams to build a structure as light as possible, and The Aliens finished in the top 30 after creating a story about aliens disguised as teachers who take over a school. 

Destination Imagination stands as the world’s largest creative problem-solving organization, with around 200,000 students in 30 countries participating annually.

Andover’s Destination Imagination program is supported by Massachusetts DI and the newly formed, nonprofit organization, Challenge Me, Inc. For more information on the program, email andoverdikids@gmail.org.

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