DIdeas Keep on Comin' team members with trophyAfter winning regional and state Destination Imagination (DI) titles this year, the Osseo Area Schools team of DIdeas Keep on Comin’ traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, last week to vie for the global championship.

Mission accomplished.

Erin Besser, Jess Bray, Adamson Novak and James Pipkin—the quartet of Maple Grove and Osseo senior high school students who make up the team—outpaced 75 other teams in the Secondary Level Fine Arts Challenge to claim their first world title. Competing at the DI Global Finals once again, the team’s victory was the culmination of more than 1,600 hours of work throughout the past nine months.

This year’s DI Fine Arts Challenge required teams to create and present an eight minute, two act musical, complete with set changes and other elements to enhance the storytelling. Solutions were assessed by a panel of trained appraisers—ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to engineers—and were scored on a variety of elements such as originality, workmanship, presentation and teamwork.

2017-2018 has been a banner year for DIdeas Keep on Comin’. Aside from achieving success at regional, state and global DI competitions, team members earned Minnesota DIstinguished Leader awards in recognition of their exceptional dedication, innovation, leadership and performance in service of Minnesota’s DI program. The team has also mentored other District 279 teams and hosted an Instant Challenge workshop this winter to help younger students work on their problem solving skills. Jody Kinneberg, music teacher at Maple Grove Middle School, serves as the team’s manager.

Osseo Area Schools was strongly represented at the DI Global Finals. In addition to DIdeas Keep on Comin’, three other teams of students competed in Knoxville:

  • “The Six Smarties” from Rush Creek Elementary tied for 16th place in the Elementary Level Improvisation Challenge (members: Isabel Bauerly, Emma Roach, Sydney Manning, Will Raymond, Makayla Elkins and Mady Nash)
  • “4 - - Alpha” from Brooklyn Middle STEAM School placed 48th in the Middle Level Scientific Challenge (members: Grace Seifert, Abby Battan, Anna Carstens and Katie Knox)
  • “seluR atosenniM” [Minnesota Rules] from Maple Grove Middle School tied for 58th place in the Middle Level Scientific Challenge (members: Eshwar Garlapati, Thomas Botkin, Brayden Kaiser, Cecilia De Oliveira, Kat Klopotek and Gautham Barani)

DI provides students with the opportunity to showcase their innovative solutions in the areas of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and service learning. Each year, more than 150,000 students representing 30 countries participate in DI challenges. After successfully advancing through their regional and state competitions, more than 1,400 teams from 19 countries competed at the Global Finals.

PHOTO: (L to R) Adamson Novak (MGSH), Jess Bray (MGSH), James Pipkin (OSH) and Erin Besser (MGSH)—a.k.a., DIdeas Keep on Comin'—pose with team manager Jody Kinneberg after claiming first place in the Secondary Level Fine Arts Challenge at the Destination Imagination Global Finals on May 26 in Knoxville, Tennessee.


How do you install a car seat for an infant? What should you do when a police officer pulls you over? When do you need to renew your vehicle tabs? What do you do when you need help? Osseo Area Schools Adult Basic Education students learned the answers to these questions and many more thanks to a community partnership. The Joint Community Police Partnerships’ Community Academy is a program that brings together the police departments of the cities of Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center and Hennepin County and others to help create stronger communities.

By meeting police officers, students were empowered to ask questions and engaged with the people who are responsible for protecting them. Once a month for the last eight months, students attended meetings giving them access to information and support. Experts and nonprofit organizations presented on many different topics including personal safety, knowing your rights, healthy relationships, immigration, and traffic laws. Through this program, students learned how to become advocates in their community. The police officers who participated learned how to better support and build relationships with a racially and culturally diverse community.

On May 8, nearly 200 Adult Basic Education students were recognized for participating in the program. Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen and Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon addressed the graduates and handed out certificates.