Howland heads to nationals

HOWLAND – Three Howland Destination Imagination teams will head to Global Finals, set for May 19 to 24 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Two teams are from the elementary level and the third from the middle school.

Cindy Baer, local district DI adviser with Jo Massaro, said this is the first time Howland schools has ever had three teams at the same time heading to Global Finals, which is an international competition.

Koula Anastasiades, a mentor to her daughter Maria’s team, said one of the H.C. Mines teams is made up of fourth to sixth graders.

According to Anastasiades, the team placed first at the regional competition held at Youngstown State University and placed third in the state competition held at Reynoldsburg. The top three in the state get to go to global finals. The Howland team will compete at the elementary level in the fine arts challenge.

H.C. Mines Intermediate School will have one team competing in “Laugh Art Loud,” a fine arts challenge researching works of artists born in another nation, and the other in “Pandemonium” a improvisational challenge creating a five-minute skit. The Howland Middle School team will take part in “Dig In,” a technical challenge where teams design and build equipment to detect objects in their hiding places.

To help fund the trip, each team is holding fundraisers to raise about $900 each per child, the organizer said.

“Howland has never had three teams before all heading to global finals. In the past three years, we have one team each year go but never three,” Baer said.

She said the two H.C. Mines teams are competing at the same level but each is competing in a different category.

“Going to compete at Global Finals gives our students an opportunity to interact with other innovative team players from all over the world,” Baer said.

Fifth grader Maria Anastasiades said she is very excited to be going.

“We are excited for our team and looking forward to the opportunity to meet other students internationally,” said Koula Anastasiades.

She said students will be able to see the innovative ideas from other teams from around the world as 16,000 people from 14 countries attend the event at University of Tennessee.

Stavros Anastasiades, a team mentor, said the teams have several thousand dollars to raise prior to Global Finals

“The kids have worked very hard. They are already heavily invested in this competition by preparing for regionals, then state and now fundraising for the opportunity to present their solution at Destination Imagination Global Finals 2014,” he said.

Those who want to make a direct contribution can do so to DI c/o Team 135-94052 in any amount. Email to receive correspondence from DI acknowledging the donation.

The team also has partnered with a group of local vendors and scheduled a quarter auction from 6 to 8 p.m. June 25 at the Saxon Club in Youngstown. A pancake breakfast and car wash are also planned.

For information about the competition, visit