Mancos Middle School students performed plays displaying teamwork and problem-solving skills Saturday at the state Destination Imagination tournament in Denver.
Two of the three teams placed seventh at the state competition, and one received the Da Vinci award, a special honor for their humor and creativity.
The three local teams competed in three categories: science, technology and fine arts.
Destination Imagination is a nationwide organization that develops creativity, improvisation, and that is why the coach for the three teams, Kim Russell, believes so strongly in the program.
"It teaches more life skills than anything," Russell said.
In Destination Imagination teams of up to seven students select a project in one of seven categories that range in focus from the sciences to improv theater.
This year, Russell's teams created three wildly different eight-minute skits presenting their solutions to challenges that required the students to study science, fine arts and technology. All three qualified for state at the regional competition in March.
A team of eighth-grade boys, who called themselves The Girl Scouts, because they were scouting for girls, placed seventh and received the Da Vinci award. While most teams in their division picked a setting on a mountain top, black hole or moon to convey an unlivable environment, the team impressed the judges by setting their play in a locker room turned hazardous waste zone. This team competed in the science category and place second in the regional competition.
The team competing in the fine arts division, presented a living comic strip based on Edgar Degas' ballerinas and also placed seventh at the state. The team of seventh-grade girls told the story of nervous ballerinas on their way to the Louvre who received a dancing lesson from Auguste Rodin's Thinker along the way. The team called, #Sister S2maps, took first at regionals.
A final group of three student in sixth and seventh grade find themselves crash landed and in need of a metal detector to rebuild a plane's engine during their play. To complete the technology challenge, the team created a metal detector using a calculator and radio. This team dubbed, Clever+Clueless +Crazy=C3, placed second at regionals.
After working on a detailed challenge for a school year, Kaytea Mahan said she came away with more developed life skills.
"It taught me how to solve problems better than I usually do," said Mahan, a sixth-grader.