Saturday, April 8

Smarties by the Group-full

Eric had his first experience of putting lots of effort in the form of hours of time, lots of brainpower and months of planning with his competition in Destination Imagination this week. His team of 6 fourth graders entered the State Finals to present their improv skit as well as compete in an on-the-spot creative problem solving exercise. I was fully supporting his involvement in this DI team since it offered a good chance for him to use his talents in a teamwork environment. He doesn't get a lot of opportunity to work on group projects since he doesn't care for any of the sports that he has tried so far. And he tends to be a little bit bossy. I'm sure he doesn't get that from his mother. The group worked together for approximately 4 hours per week since December 2005 to create their project from scratch. The main rule of the competition is that although there is an adult leader in the team, there is absolutely no adult help allowed - no ideas, no glueing, no stitching, no leading the kids in any way to make their project come to completion. The kids have to sign a statement before they enter that they did not receive any help in putting their project together. Eric's group chose to do an improv skit to demonstrate a scientific law. They had to complete it on their own, including writing and typing the script and coming up with all the ideas for props, making whichever ones they needed to.

They did such a good job, and they were really at a disadvantage in that none of the team had ever entered this competition before. They were up against teams who have been competing since kindergarten. Another thing we realized after they started in December was that many of the teams began their work in September at the start of the school year. Now John and I are employing our own creative problem-solving skills to explain why their team was still successful even though they didn't place in the global (worldwide) competition.

The highlight of the experience was seeing Eric introduced to the great thrill of pin-trading (see his shirt above). Also seeing him participate in his very first auction was a hoot. They auctioned the $5 t-shirts at the close of the day, most of them going for $15. Eric only had $13 in allowance in his pocket, so he didn't win any bids. He raised his hand and waved wildly every time they called out another t-shirt. The joke was that all the shirts were left over from various other years and various other states. None of the t-shirts were for current year or even from NY and we could have gotten them at the merchandise stand for $5 each before the bidding started! He would have really loved to have one that he bid on himself, though. Last, he was thrilled when they had to sign a release statement before doing the Instant Challenge that they would not talk about the details with anyone until May 27, 2006, after the global competition is over. He feels like a real bigwig to have signed a contract at such a young age! He's quite a guy.
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3 of Your THINKS:

mary ellen said...

Good for him, sounds like a fun and interesting day. Cool pins!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Eric! and mom and dad too! What joy for you to watch your son, all the while you are telling yourself "That's My Boy"! What an exciting moment for Eric to sign his first contract. How cool is that. I'm so happy for all of you.

- Debbie Stewart

Anonymous said...

WOW, that must have been an exciting day for him and team-mates......