Wilshire Park creative kids improvise their way to Knoxville

Wilshire Park’s Bobbidy Bop Bop Bops, from left to right: Anthony Arens, Mathew Arens, Abby Salseg, Brighid Donohue, Isaac Mitchell and Hugo Drews. (submitted photo)

The Bobbidy Bop Bop Bops, Wilshire Park Elementary’s dreamers of dreams and Destination Imagination (DI) team, has advanced to the Destination Imagination Global 2014 Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The team, made up of four boys and two girls, all fourth and fifth graders, will travel to Knoxville May 21-24. Susan Boatman, Wilshire Park’s DI adviser, said this will be the third time a team from the elementary school has made it to the global finals, most recently in 2012.

Boatman explained that the kids create improv scenes for the competition, this year focusing on different occupations from different time periods, ranging from 3000 B.C. to modern times. She said ancient occupations could be “a sheep herder to a sailor;” as for more contemporary occupations, “a smoke jumper or a car salesman.”

The kids create a character from the occupation and plan a skit around solving a problem, or in DI terms, a “pandemonium.” They have five minutes to prepare for a roughly five-minute skit. Boatman said typical situations can be “all the chickens are out or the ground is shaking.”

Boatman said the Bobbidy Bop Bop Bops convened last Halloween and have met weekly since to hone their improv skills. Once in Nashville, the kids will have a chance to meet other competitors from around the world and to trade DI pins.

The DI team will be accompanied to Knoxville by at least one parent, along with Greg Mitchell, the team manager, and Boatman, who said the Bobbidy Bop Bop Bops will also take “some adventure into the Smokey Mountains” while in Tennessee.

In order to participate in DI, Boatman said students pay a small fee and that the parents association at Wilshire Park helps fund the program. She said the team is also hoping for donations from local businesses and individuals, in order to help pay for their trip.

Donations can be made out to the Wilshire Park Activity Account-Destination Imagination and sent to the school at 3600 Highcrest Rd. NE, St. Anthony, 55418, attention Susan Boatman.

Destination Imagination is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a proponent of creative learning, with a focus on STEM, science, technology, engineering and math.

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.


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