Destination Imagination teams heading to national competition | Lifestyle

Tehachapi’s two Destination Imagination teams are looking for your support to help them get to the Global Finals to be held May 21-24 in Kansas City, Mo., where they will compete with other teams from around the world! Please come out and support them from 5 to 7:30 pm Monday, May 9 at The Shed parking lot. Mano and Mei Mei Lujan will be donating all profits to both teams.

Recently, both Destination Imagination teams won first place in California in the engineering challenge. Destination Imagination is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). The teams have been working for six months under the direction of team manager Kelly Keller.

Plot Twist: (REDACTED) high school team members include Grace Keller, Abigail Barthelmes, Cressida Chapman and Caitlyn Chitwood. They constructed a structure that weighs 33.4 grams and holds 547 pounds of weight. The team also built a pneumatic pump to drive the spaceship’s gears, and created a transforming costume.

#trademarked middle school team members are Owen Keller, Phillip Mangelsdorf, Dominic Vivo Amore and Luke Chiarini. They created a balsa wood structure that weighs 39.7 grams and holds 663 pounds. The team also built a life-size record player out of plywood and lawn mower wheels which is powered by an ice cream maker motor.

If you would like to donate online, go to Please be sure to design the team name: Plot Twist (REDACTED) for the girls or #trademarked for the boys. Donations must be designated for the team name in order for the money to be received by our local teams. Otherwise, the larger organization will keep the funds. You may also write a check out to California Destination Imagination and write the team name on the memo line. Mail it to CA Destination Imagination, 14843 Priscilla St., San Diego, CA 92129. No amount is too small and donations are tax deductible. Thank you for your help! You may also view the teams at

Ann Chiarini is a speech and language specialist at Golden Hills Elementary School.


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