Londonderry School, Londonderry, #130-32235, Assembly Required, Elementary Level
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Meet the “Duct Tape Dudes”: Neil Baran, Jillian Fitzgibbons, Jimmy Fitzgibbons, Ian Goodspeed, Patrick Hagearty, Lauren Mullen, and Sierra Sessa.
Our team is loves DI because it joins our two favorite things–creativity and learning. Most of us started doing DI in third grade, and our current team has been together for the last two years. We are from two different schools, and have many different talents. Some of us are more technical, some more theatrical, some more literary, some more artistic. Some of us are more outgoing, and some of us are more reserved. Which is why we always try to choose a challenge that has a mix of different things.
This year’s technical challenge is perfect for us–we have to solve a technical problem (designing equipment a team member can ride on, building and delivering products with multiple parts), but also we have to tell a creative story around it, and make products and props that fit that story.
“The thing I liked most was building our equipment because it brought out our technical genius. We did a lot of research to figure out what would work and had some spectacular failures before we got it right,” Ian notes.
“It was so awesome when it finally worked,”adds Patrick. “I love it in DI when you can hang out with your friends and build the impossible!”
“I also like making up imaginary things for our skits and other processes. Where else can you moo like a cow for an instant challenge and get points for it?” asks Neil.
“My favorite thing about DI is that our team gets along very well together,” says Sierra. “We have a blast in DI, we goof off, but we also work really hard and have fun doing it.”
We always learn something new. “This is my 2nd year in DI and I already learned how to use a lot of tools including a circular saw, a glue gun, and a jig saw,” Lauren explains. “I love learning the tech skills,” states Jillian, “and we are all learning how to work better as a team and to think outside the box.”
Mostly we do DI because we like to build stuff and solve interesting challenges with friends. We also love to find thousands of new uses for recycled items, and of course, our favorite material–Duct Tape. However, qualifying for Globals for the first time was a huge thrill.
“Two weeks before regionals, we weren’t sure if we were going to make it. We were taking way too long to build the products, and our props weren’t done. But then we got to regionals and it was a lot of fun performing because we got everything done and didn’t mess up!” Jimmy declares.
Then when we won States, we couldn’t believe it. We were jumping up and down and screaming and hugging each other, and Coach O’Connor was jumping up and down right along with us. Now we can’t wait to go to Tennessee as part of Team New Hampshire and see all cool and creative ideas other teams have. We won’t tell you what our solution is yet (we have to leave some surprises for Globals), but let’s just say we’ll be “floating on air” if we win in Tennessee. You can follow our progress at www.LondonderryDI.org and www.nh-di.org/globals.
Of course, we never could have done any of this without Coach O’Connor who “is always there for us, asking us questions, keeping us focused, and sometimes just acting silly, like one of us kids” Sierra, Jillian, and Neil explain. “Plus, he lets us have doughnuts just when our creative juices require it. He also makes terrible jokes, but we always laugh anyway (ok, not always, sometimes we groan, but its fun anyway),” add Ian and Jimmy. “Basically, Coach is patient, helpful, never gives up, and is overall AWESOME. Our coach is the best coach in the world,” conclude Lauren and Patrick.
Please wish us “creative problem solving” as we join the other New Hampshire teams and Live Free for DI at Globals March 23-26.
–The Duct Tape Dudes