By Shawn Chitnis

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Students from Cottonwood Creek Elementary put on a skit that would explain the help needed for victims of a natural disaster.

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Their achievement will allow them to compete internationally.

In the skit, the students helped a school in Texas impacted by Hurricane Harvey for their Destination Imagination challenge.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re acting as a news team,” said Zachary Goldenberg, 9, a third grade student. “We’re acting like Hurricane Harvey just came in.”

Destination Imagination provides students the chance to take on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, or STEAM, related challenges. The goal of DI is to bridge the gap between what they are learning in school and the skills they will need in a changing economy with creative problem solving, according to the nonprofit’s website.

(credit: CBS)

“A worldwide competition and there are different categories you can choose,” explained Colby Stein, 9, another third grade student on the team. “The challenge is to meet a need in the world.”

The team from Cottonwood Creek Elementary calls themselves “The News Flashers” and competes against others in their age category.

(credit: CBS)

The challenge they chose required them to demonstrate how they could help someone in need. They won in a regional competition and qualified at the state level to go to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee.

LINK: Support The News Flashers

“We’re putting others above ourselves,” said Delaney Hall, 9, also in the third grade.

The students cannot get any help from adults on the challenge. They have to come with their own ideas, write their own script for the performance and build any props they use in competition.

(credit: CBS)

It is a challenge that covers several topics, but to focus on what to cover in their project, they considered what it would be like without school.

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“A project that involves science, service learning, and fine arts,” said Regan Talaga, 9, another third grade student. “We thought about what we would miss most.”

The students raised money to buy books, supplies, and toys for an elementary school in Texas that was devastated by the storm. In the skit they created, a newscast covers the hurricane, and reporters interview students about the project and its success.

“This is the morning news, I’m Katie, the news anchor,” said Katie Johnson during on their rehearsals. She has the first few lines of the skit. “Ashton Altieri is there now ready to give us a close up.”

Colby Stein (credit: CBS)

Stein is the meteorologist in the newscast explaining the hurricane and its impact. During their rehearsal he pretended to be a member of the CBS4 This Morning team, Ashton Altieri.

“I’m over here in Houston, Texas and boy is it windy,” Stein said. “As you can see I’m getting blown away.”

The team is excited to compete against so many students from almost every state in the country and nations around the globe.

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“You get to meet new people,” said Kate Shineman, 9, in the third grade.

But before they reach the international competition, they are already learning so much from this experience.

“You have to work hard to get what you want,” said Johnson. “You have to learn to work well with your teammates.”

LINK: Destination Imagination

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Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.