Team D.I.R.T. Vehicle

Edgar Murray School student Johnathan Kindel drives the Team D.I.R.T. vehicle during the state Destination Imagination competition last month.

Submitted Photo.

Two Edgar Murray Elementary School creative problem-solving teams earned a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., later this month as they qualified for the Destination Imagination Global Finals last month.

The pair of teams — SanDI Claus’ Elves and D.I.R.T. — finished second and third, respectively, in the Missouri Creative Adventures competition in Joplin in mid-April to earn their spots in the finals. Both squads earlier had placed in the top three at the Eastern Regional Destination event in St. Charles.

“I’m very proud of both teams and what they’ve accomplished,” said St. Clair R-XIII gifted education teacher Jennifer Hawkins, who also serves as team manager for both units. “I love to watch their creative problem-solving skills develop. It’s interesting to see how many different ways they can solve problems.”

The two teams presented a long-term technical challenge which required them to design and build equipment that retrieves parts and delivers products, assembles products from team-provided parts to fill orders and use the products in the team’s presentation, earn extra points by deciding how best to fill orders with no parts or products left over in the assembly area, and present a team-created story about something that happens “just in time.”

Each team also was given an instant challenge that was averaged into their scores. The challenges required teams to solve a problem as quickly as possible. 

Members of Team SanDI Claus’ Elves are fifth-graders Madison Husereau, Austin Hinson, Luke Feddersen, Ben Nance, Derick Grus and Jacob Hawkins. Members of Team D.I.R.T. (Destination Imagination Radical Technicians) are fourth-graders Abby Hoff, Jolee King, Kyle Banderman, Johnathan Kindel, Hunter Bausch and Ashton Feddersen.

The global finals will take place in Knoxville on May 21-26. Each team member will need to raise $665 for the trip.

“We are pumped up about global finals,” Hawkins said. “I can’t wait for them to meet students from around the world.”


The team is looking for sponsors to help with expenses. Names of sponsors will be put on the back of student-designed shirts to sell. Anyone interested is asked to contact Hawkins at Edgar Murray by calling 636-629-3500, extension 2046, or emailing her at

In addition, the students also will be having a barbecue and bake sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, at St. John United Church of Christ.