Pin trading introduces kids to different cultures at Destination Imagination

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Seventeen thousand students from across the globe are in Knoxville competing in Destination Imagination's Global Finals.

Student representatives from 45 states and 17 counties poured into the Knoxville Convention Center for the week. They have all excelled in creative problem solving.

At Globals, students demonstrate the solutions they've derived throughout the school year through a variety of challenges.

"We recognize that we are preparing kids for jobs that don't even exist yet. And so to do that, they have to have skills like flexibility, collaboration, critical and creative problem solving. And those are things that D.I. teaches through our challenges," said Britt Dyer, with Destination Imagination.

With creative competition comes creative ways to break the ice. Like pin trading.

Each state or country gets its own pins for students to trade.

Lexi Rinehart is a ninth grader from Maryland, six-year D.I. participant, two-year global attendee. Her pins are reminders of how hard she worked to be part of the competition.

"(By) trading pins... you get to meet new people from all over the world at Globals," Rinehart said.

Eighth grader Karolina Stolarczyk is from Ontario, Canada. Her pins are proof her hard work paid off.

"It's fun to work together as a team to try to solve the challenges. It's a really fun experience to get here to Tennessee," Stolarczyk said.