BY embracing their creative sides and thinking outside of the box, two fifth-grade teams at Dublin's Mary Emma Bailey Elementary School will compete in the Destination Imagination Global Finals from Wednesday, May 23 through May 26 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Destination Imagination fosters creativity by having students participate in open-ended academic challenges in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, fine arts and service learning, according to its website.

Two teams -- Mischievous Leprechauns of Dublin and Weird Blue Trolls -- both competed in this year's scientific challenge to qualify for the Global Final competition, said team manager Kristina Van Buskirk.

The Leprechauns and the Trolls took first and second place, respectively, during state competition March 24 at Mount Vernon High School.

The Trolls won a Renaissance Award for their set creativity, while the Leprechauns won the Da Vinci Award for their creativity in the instant challenge competition, Van Buskirk said.

Students had to design and build an attraction that uses three scientific concepts during its operation, Van Buskirk said. They also had to create a story that features the attraction operating in an unlikely location.

The Leprechauns built a fortune-teller booth and their story put the booth underwater, in "Mermaid Town," Van Buskirk said. The Trolls built an amusement park game where players catapult toilet paper rolls into a target. In their story, a mayor converts all toilets into the game.

In carrying out their projects, the students had to learn how to work as a team and make decisions together by discussing, negotiating and compromising, Van Buskirk said.

"It's really teaching them about how to get along with people," she said.

Celeste Reheiser, an 11-year-old fifth-grader, is a member of the Leprechauns, and this is her third year participating in Destination Imagination. She said she is excited to go to global competition.

Fifth-grader Avery Knittle, 10, said she enjoyed working as a team.

This is Knittle's second year participating in Destination Imagination, and she said she likes the opportunity to earn medals during competition.

She also liked building the bathroom set, she said.

"We thought it would be funny to do that," she said.