BEVERLY — Seven seventh-graders at Briscoe Middle School are going global.
The students became the first team in school history to qualify for the DestiNation Imagination Global Finals, a competition that will feature more than 1,110 teams from the United States and 23 other countries.
The finals will be held May 23 through 26 in Knoxville, Tenn.
"It's pretty big," said Bridget Fish, a seventh-grade science teacher at Briscoe and the volunteer coach for the DI team. "I guess my head is still up in the clouds. We've never reached this level."
Destination ImagiNation is an international program in which students work in teams to solve various challenges and present their solutions at tournaments.
The Briscoe team won the regional competition March 17 at Beverly High School to qualify for the states, then took second in the states on March 30 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to qualify for globals.
Briscoe competed in the creativity and team-building category, resolving a challenge that required them to show how one particular news story caused another. Teams have only five minutes to prepare their solutions and use their bodies to create the scenery and props.
They are also given "one-minute glitches" — for example, being told they're in a melting igloo — that must be instantly incorporated into their presentation.
Qualifying for globals was the culmination of years of work, Fish said. Four of the seven team members have been together in DestiNation Imagination since first grade, with Fish, whose daughter is on the team, as their coach. The team has been practicing after school two days per week, three hours at a time, for six months.
"They're very committed girls," Fish said.
Members of the team are Emily Aldrich, Emma Beaudoin, Mackenzie Bolas, Katie Cafferty, Meredith Enright, Lilah Fish and Leona Rostock.
The team needs to raise about $12,000 to pay for its trip to Knoxville. The Briscoe PTO is donating $700 toward the fundraising.
Anyone who wants to donate can send a check, payable to Briscoe PTO, to Briscoe PTO, 7 Sohier Road, Beverly, MA 01915.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.