Schools notebook: Destination ImagiNation finishes sixth

Destination ImagiNation team places sixth at globals

FULTON — A local Destination ImagiNation team took sixth place at the 2011 Global Finals held May 25–28 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Five of the six members of team Polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, aka the Linden Hills Community Team, are eighth graders at Lake Harriet Community School’s Upper Campus. Teammates Kaj Anders-MacLeod, Seth Colbert-Pollack, Hannah Fitzgerald, Nathanial Larson, Piper Shatz-Akin and Becca Tincher have competed together since the fourth grade and advanced to the global finals after taking first place in the state tournament April 16.

Destination ImagiNation is a competition that emphasizes creativity and teamwork in solving open-ended challenges. The nonprofit organization reports it has more than 100,000 participating students from 30 countries.

The Linden Hills Community Team competed in the “Triple Take Road Show” fine arts category that required them to write and perform a story three times. Their performance also had to include a team-created “technical spectacle.”

The six locals actually tied for sixth place with a team of middle school students from a school in Beijing, China — which goes to show the “global finals” lived up to their billing.

To learn more about Destination ImagiNation visit or view results from last month’s competition at

By the way, the local team’s tongue-twister moniker is the scientific name for Bakelite, an early plastic.


Southwest student a National Merit Scholar

LINDEN HILLS — Southwest High School senior Beatrice Gantzer was one of two Minneapolis Public Schools students named a National Merit Scholar May 25.

Gantzer and Evelyn Reilly of South High School were among 2,900 students nationwide to win college- and university-sponsored scholarships awarded to students who plan to attend those institutions, the district reported. Gantzer’s scholarship was sponsored by Washington University in St. Louis of St. Louis, Mo., while Reilly’s was sponsored by the University of Minnesota.

In early June, both students were among the 8,300 high school seniors still in the running for National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, which are separate from the college- and university-sponsored awards. More than half of the finalists will qualify for the scholarships, due to be awarded in July.

Finalists were selected based on the scores they earned as high school juniors on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The 16,000 semifinalists announced in September 2010 earned the highest scores, and they represented less than one percent of each state’s high school seniors, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation reported.

Founded in 1955, the independent, nonprofit corporation’s mission is to identify and award scholarships to the nation’s most academically talented high school students.


Sign up now for summer education courses

Registration for Minneapolis Community Education youth and adult summer classes opened in late May.

Minneapolis Public Schools sites host a variety of daytime programs over the summer open to students in grades K–8. Adults can sign up for Summerlink evening classes on subjects such as languages, arts, wellness and more, most held at the Community Education Service Center, 2225 East Lake St.

Summer arts classes for students in grades 3–5 and 6–8 will be offered for the second year at Barton Open School, 4237 Colfax Ave. S.

One-week courses on a variety of topics, from graffiti art to musical theater to pop-up books, are offered 3:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m. June 27–30 and July 5–8. A two-week French culture camp for grades 3–5 runs both weeks.

Southwest High School, 3414 W. 47th St., hosts Southwest Super Summer classes June 13–July 21. Open to students in grades K–8, registration is available for either morning (9:30 a.m.–noon) or afternoon (1 p.m.–3:30 p.m.) sessions that run four consecutive days each week, typically Monday–Thursday.

Southwest Super Summer’s dozens of class options include sessions on languages, visual and performing arts, hobbies, science, technology, cooking and more. A four-day Trek program for middle-school students ages 12–14 includes canoeing, hiking and biking outings around the city.

For more information or to register for youth programs, go to Visit to sign up for adult Summerlink classes, which run June 13–July 28.

Program fees vary. No adult or youth classes will be held July 4.