Being a part of The Woodlands College Park High School Destination Imagination team has helped 2016 graduate Annie Turney and other team members prepare for the future.
The Academy of Science Technology team received special recognition for its Destination Imagination team from the Conroe ISD Board of Trustees at a meeting on Tuesday, June 21. The team was recently named global champions in their division.
“It was a very exciting and a satisfying feeling when we won,” Turney said. “We have been working towards this ever since sophomore year, and we had never even made it to global before.”
Destination Imagnination is an educational, nonprofit organization designed to teach students the skills needed to be successful in school and future careers.
According to the organization’s website, DI, as it’s commonly called, develops project-based learning programs that blend STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education with the arts and social entrepreneurship.
“DI is important to be a part of because it teaches kids how to find new, creative, and efficient solutions to problems,” Turney said. “This is what society needs rising generations to be able to do as it faces upcoming challenges.
“I have been a part of our team for three years, since it was formed, but I have been doing DI for seven years. I feel like DI has prepared me for not only a successful career in technology but also anything else I wish to pursue.”
Some of Turney’s fondest memories of high school were performing with her fellow teammates. The most unforgettable memory was the team’s global performance.
“I loved the excitement that we had after our global performance,” she said. “One of our team member’s costume malfunctioned during the skit (his leg fell off) and it only added to the hilarity of our performance. Except for that, everything worked perfectly.
“We were jumping up and down and hugging each other because we all knew that we had just killed it.”
Team sponsor Barbara Lowenberg said the team’s performance was the best global performance ever.
The majority of the team has been together for three years and Lowenberg said they were pretty confident.
“We knew they had won,” she said. “When we first saw the performance, we were like wow, this is really that good, we have had other teams that have won the globals before, but we really felt like this was the best we had ever seen.”
Like Turney, Justin Stobart, a DI team member, plans on pursuing a career in technology.
Stobart graduated from TWCPHS this year and said being recognized for all their hard work was an amazing feeling.
“Winning was kind of surreal, that seems a little too dramatic, but it was just very unexpected,” Stobart said.
“Our team had never been to that level of competition, so we went into it without any expectations. … We just came along way, and everyone played a special role. I can confidently say that if our team was even slightly different (let’s say maybe one person was switched out for another) we would not have won.”
Both Turney and Stobart plan on attending college in the fall. Turney will be going to Rice University with plans on going into medicine and perhaps biotechnology research. Stobart will be attending the University of Michigan.
“I am double majoring in trombone performance and engineering, probably mechanical engineering,” he said.
Stobart said DI has taught him important lessons about teamwork and work ethic. He adds how he is grateful for the team’s sponsors for being there through it all.
“Thanks to our sponsors Mr. Ullrich and Mrs. Lowenberg, they have stuck by many DI teams throughout the years. I can’t find an appropriate way to fully express all they’ve done for DI, but they are amazing. I can’t picture DI without them,” he said.
Members of the DI team are Mary Robbins, Victoria Li, Maria Rossi, Annie Turney, Matthew Liu, Luis Berardi and Justin Stobart.