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Destination ImagiNation

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Destination ImagiNation (aka DI) is a wonderful program that encourages creativity and problem-solving skills. Kids work in teams, grouped by age, and are lead by Team Managers who provide the problems each week and guide the team as it works on its challenges. There were several Stow teams who competed at Regionals ranging from kindergarten through high school. Yours truly was honored to have managed a K-2 team (called History Kids) who did an exceptional job in the non-competitive Rising Stars division. 

The fourth and fifth grade team from Center School (pictured) came in first place at the 2008 Massachusetts state championships and will be competing at the Global Finals in Tennessee. Their performance utilized some engineering skills (i.e., creating the illusion of a long school corridor using blinds) and theatrical skills. 

There are basically two components to DI: the Instant Challenges and Central Challenge. Instant Challenges are tasks that the team needs to solve in a short time interval. For example, when we were preparing for our regional competition, most of the Stow teams got together and were given an Instant Challenge by some older kids who had been to Globals in years past. My kids were given a strange looking object and were supposed to make a skit that answered "What it was?", "Why it was here?", "How it works?", etc. The Central Challenge is a long term project that teams work on throughout the season and perform at the competition. Our team's challenge was to take something from history, make a prop that will change history, make a play about it, and sing a song. Our team chose Abraham Lincoln's assassination as the period of history and decided to change it by inventing a TV remote control and having Paul Revere come riding in on a horse to scare away John Wilkes Booth. 

External Link: Stow Destination ImagiNation

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Ask This Old House

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I have about 20 landscaping projects I need help with at my house. So, I'd like to know how another family got to have Roger Cook come to their house to plant a big tree? Honestly, the scope of my landscaping projects is probably more suited for HGTV's Landscapers' Challenge with a budget of like half of what my house is worth! I can dream, can't I? But, yes, they came to Stow and planted a big tree: an Aristocratic Pear tree.

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Patriots' Day

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Stow Minutemen Patriots' Day

Stow Minutemen Patriots' Day

I always post only one image per entry, but I decided to make an exception today since I have two good images and I didn't know which one to choose.

Some of you may think this is a holiday because the Boston Marathon is held on this day or the Red Sox play their traditional home game. You would be wrong! Patriots' Day is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is observed in Massachusetts and Maine (once part of Massachusetts), and a public school observance day in Wisconsin. Observances and re-enactments of these first battles of the American Revolution occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts, and The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. In the morning, a mounted reenactor with State Police escort retraces Paul Revere's ride, calling out warnings the whole way.

The Stow Minuteman Company was reactivated in 1965 by order of the Stow Selectmen, to "preserve and perpetuate the memory and spirit of our forebears [and] promote an active interest in Revolutionary history." They walked from downtown Stow at 4:45AM all the way to North Bridge in Concord. They are a tough group, but I didn't check to see if they were wearing period shoes. I read a story that said at least one did not (i.e., Ms. Katy Needle). It was a great time and I felt a shiver of patriotism as I followed this great group. Although I will admit that feeling wasn't strong enough to make me want to follow them all the way to North Bridge. By the halfway point, I had my images, so I went home to bed. That's patriotism for you!

The first image was near dawn (5:50AM) at their stop at the intersection of Concord Road and Acton Street (Route 27) in Maynard. The second image was taken after I made a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts and drove over to meet the Company just before they trekked down the footpath to Old Stow Road in West Concord.

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