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A Mom Explains Destination Imagination and Why It Matters to You

A Mom Explains Destination Imagination and Why It Matters to You

What is DI?

I had no idea when I became a team manager and have trouble articulating it now.  Paraphrasing the DI website:

Destination ImagiNation, Inc. is an organization that lets student teams compete in tournaments to solve open-ended challenges requiring creativity, teamwork, and problem solving.  In fact, each year 125,000 students from more than 30 countries “do” DI.


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Yeah, unless you “do” DI, you are probably still confused.  The official website might help, but I doubt it. Like many organizations, DI has its own vocabulary.  Maybe explaining the lingo would help to explain DI.


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  • “Doing” DI—you can’t simply “be” on a team, active participation is required
  • Main Challenge—teams choose one of five varieties; some require engineering and mechanical skills, while others require script writing and set designing for a performance; teams work for months to prepare (my team does the improv challenge)
  • Instant Challenge—the most mysterious and gruelling event; so secretive only the team manager enters the IC room with the team and everyone has to sign a “gag order”; teams must think fast on their feet because they have only minutes to solve a challenge that involves building, performing, or both.
  • Appraisers—volunteers (like judges) that award points for creativity, teamwork, and solutions
  • Team Managers—(not coaches) encourage students to solve their own problems and to recognize their own and each other’s talents
  • Interference—grownups solving problems for kids and limiting their potential
DInamite Divas Team

Why DI Matters

At a time when our kids spend so much time preparing for standardized tests and not enough time thinking and reasoning, I am so happy that my girls “do” DI and are learning how to work together with others to solve problems and think creatively.  DI teaches one to speak up when your heart has something to say; and to listen when it does not.  Also taught is that everyone has unique talents and that seven heads are really better than one.  You never know who will come up with the bright idea that will save the day.  Get involved and “do” DI yourself.  It will change the way you think.

[box type=”info”] Both the DInamite Divas and Eagles from Challenger have qualified for the Globals Competition in Knoxville but to attend they need to raise almost $6,000. To learn more about their fundraising efforts, visit their Facebook page. You can buy some yummy baked goods in support of the team this Thursday at the first Sidewalk Arts Stroll (4:30-8:30 PM) or sign up for the 10 AM art class on May 19th at My Spirited Art. [/box]

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