Destination ImagiNation is the world’s largest problem-solving competition and has been offered as a school sponsored activity in District 109 since 2003. As part of Destination ImaginNation, teams adhere to DI Rules of the Road and, as a District 109 Activity, the program operates within structures set forth by the District.
The Basics of Destination Imagination
Who: District 109 makes DI available to children in grades 4-8. DI teams typically have 5-7 participants each and each team needs at least one adult Team Manager.
What: Teams develop solutions to DI Team Challenges and sample Instant Challenges. Teams choose from among the six challenges - Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisation, Engineering, and Service Learning. Solutions are presented at Tournaments.
When: Team formation begins in September. Teams spend three to four months developing their Team Challenge solutions and practicing Instant Challenges. The Regional Tournament is held in late February/early March. The top teams at each level (i.e., Elementary, Middle), for each Challenge, qualify to compete at the Illinois Affiliate Tournament. The top finishers from Affiliate qualify for Global Finals which is held in Knoxville, Tennessee in late May.
Where: For Team Challenges, teams practice wherever they can find space - in living rooms, basements, and garages. Instant Challenge practices are led by the School Coordinators and are held at school outside of academic hours.
Why: Teams participate to have fun and meet new friends! Additionally, teams also learn and experience creative problem solving.
Destination ImagiNation is a program that builds participants’ creativity, problem solving, and teamwork in enjoyable and meaningful ways. The goals of Destination ImagiNation are for participants to:
- Foster creative and critical thinking.
- Learn and apply Creative Problem Solving method and tools.
- Develop teamwork, collaboration, and leadership skills.
- Nurture research and inquiry skills, involving both creative exploration and attention to detail.
- Enhance and apply written and verbal communication and presentation skills (both impromptu and sustained).
- Promote the recognition, use, and development of many and varied strengths and talents.
- Encourage competence in, enthusiasm for, and commitment to real-life problem solving.
The Two Components
The Destination ImagiNation program asks teams to creatively solve two different kinds of Challenges. The two Challenges, or components, are called the Team Challenge and the Instant Challenge. Teams present their solutions to both Challenges at a Tournament where the solutions are evaluated by friendly people we call “Appraisers.”
Team Challenge: The Destination ImagiNation Team Challenge is a Challenge teams work on over a long period of time, usually several months and is made up of two parts, the Central Challenge and Team Choice Elements. The Central Challenge encourages development of creative problem solving techniques, teamwork, and creative process over a sustained period of time (usually several months). It is academically based and focuses on one or more of the following areas: Technical/Mechanical Design, Engineering/Architectural Design, Science, Theatrical/Literary/Fine Arts Elements, Community Service and Improvisational Techniques. In Deerfield a parent Team Manager facilitates the Team Challenge portion at a space away from school. Team Choice Elements allow participants to discover and showcase their collective interests, strengths, and abilities as a team and as individuals.
Instant Challenge: The Destination ImagiNation Instant Challenge is a Challenge that teams are asked to solve in a very short period of time at their Tournament, without knowing ahead of time what the Challenge will be. ICs put the team’s creative problem solving abilities, creativity, performance skills and teamwork to the test in a short, time-driven Challenge. For DPS 109 students, this is facilitated by the School Coordinator at DI meetings held at school at lunchtime or before/after school.