Yorktown Heights School Team Shows Global Reach

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Team Ex-Stream from St. Patrick’s School in Yorktown Heights exceeded expectations by placing second in New York State’s Destination Imagination competition at SUNY Broome Community College outside Binghamton April 7 to qualify to meet the world’s best at Globals in Knoxville, Tenn., next month.

“It’s been really exciting,” fifth-grader Samantha DeVino told CNY. “We didn’t expect it. It’s our first year and we didn’t know what to expect.”

Her Team Ex-Stream teammates are Frank Muscarella, Andrew Savino, Nicholas Savino, Kieran Sullivan, Mareah Mazzarella and Lucia Salvatore. It is one of two student teams in the after-school activity introduced at St. Patrick’s in the current school year by former principal Darlene Del Vecchio. The team name comes from the school’s new STREAM lab.

“We’re very excited,’’ said Sara Shea, interim principal at St. Patrick’s. “It’s the first experience for the school competing with this program. When we started out, we didn’t expect them to make it as far as they did.”

In Destination Imagination, team members work together to find a solution to a challenge in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, fine arts and service learning. After their presentation, the students are given an instant challenge where they have eight minutes to come up with a plan for a solution.

“It was challenging but exciting. They were able to do multiple tasks and some of them are spur of the moment,” Ms. Shea said. “They are given the task right there and have to come up with how they will use certain ideas in their work.”

Samantha said the instant challenge was “really hard.”

“We came together and came up with an idea,” she explained.

School officials and parents were still meeting to determine whether they would be sending the students to Globals, a competition in which student teams from 15 countries are expected to compete at the University of Tennessee May 23-26. Along with travel and competition expenses, students would have to miss a week of school to participate.

—Dan Pietrafesa

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