Teams from Bozeman's Whittier and Irving elementary schools and Manhattan Christian School won first-place awards in the Destination ImagiNation state competition Saturday.

That means those teams will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., in May to compete in the Global Finals against 1,000 teams from more than 40 counties.

In addition, Manhattan Christian High School's 2009 team won the Montana Destination ImagiNation Above and Beyond Award for creating a children's book about orphaned animals as a way to provide hope for orphans in Uganda. The book was published in January and will be distributed to Ugandan children orphaned by AIDS.

More than 160 students competed at the 11th annual state Destination ImagiNation tournament in Three Forks. Teams have to solve a variety of challenges by using creative thinking and teamwork, according to Heather Geiger, state director.

First-place winners will go to the Global Finals. All local teams' results were:

  • You're Gonna Flip (teams used puppets and skits to depict a character flipping their opinion): Elementary level -- first place, Whittier School, Neon Pizzas team; second place, Irving School, DIA team; third place, Irving School, Tie-Dyed Cows from Mars team. Middle level -- first place, Irving School, Thought Bubbles team.
  • DIrect DIposit (teams built a machine to deliver objects over a wall): Elementary level -- first place, Irving School, Hazardous Exotic Fuzzy Kittens team.
  • DO or DI (teams improvise a skit about something in danger of extinction): Elementary -- first place, Whittier School Panthers team.
  • DI-BOT (teams create an original study demonstrating robot technology): Elementary level -- first place, Manhattan Christian School, Robotrons team; second place, Bozeman Irving School, DI-know-saurs team.
  • Band Together (teams use music to solve a community problem): Middle level -- "good" rating, Irving School, DI Donuts team.

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