Destination ImagiNation, Inc. (DI)

What is DI? Destination ImagiNation, also known as DI, is the worlds largest creative problem solving program for students from kindergarten to university level. DI is currently active in all 50 states and in 40 countries, with more than 12,000 teams supported by more than 40,000 volunteers. Find out all the details on the DI program by visiting www.IdoDI.org

Our district had over 40 DI teams participate in the 2008 Regional Tournament. A team from Lakeview Elementary and a Medlin Middle School team advanced from Regionals to the State Championship. The Medlin team went on from State to take 4th place in the WORLD at the Global Finals competition inKnoxville, Tennessee. 

The DI competition levels within our school district include Elementary (K-5th grade), Middle (6th-8th grade) and Secondary (9th-12th grade). Applications can be downloaded by clicking on this link 

When is DI? Teams of up to seven students, managed by a volunteer Team Manager parent (usually a parent of a student on the team or a teacher) work together in after-school or weekend weekly meetings to solve one of several Challenges and present their final solution at a Regional Competition. They compete against only those students at their competitive level who have selected the same Challenge. This years Regional Tournament is at Weatherford High School on Saturday, February 21, 2009, and for those teams advancing the State Tournament is April 3-4, 2009 in the North Houston Area. The International Global Finals are in late May 2009 in Tennessee.

The DI Challenge: DI is divided into two separate segments of competition: the Central Challenge and Instant Challenge. Standard teams (not DI Extreme teams, which are explained below) select one of several complex Central Challenges to solve, ranging from super-technical, wildly theatrical, to completely improvisational, with each having required elements but plenty of room for creative elaboration. click here for a link to a description of the various Central Challenges available this year.

Teams meet over a period of months, working on solutions to their Challenges, creating scripts, props, costumes, and sets. Teams have to create each element of their solution on their own they can have instruction on general concepts, but everything you see on performance day is designed, written and constructed solely by team members.

What does a DI Performance Look Like? The performances are wildly varied because the teams are limited only by their own imaginations. Here is a site where you can watch performances from the 2008 Global Finals. http://diresources.wikispaces.com/video2008

The Instant Challenge: While working on solving their Central Challenge, teams also practice general creative problem solving skills to solve theatrical, structural and hybrid Instant Challenges (IC). ICs are designed to teach students to think quickly, creatively and strategically. At tournament, each team is given an IC it has not encountered before. For example, a team may be asked to create and perform a play using a given set of items, manipulate materials to build a structure, or develop a non-verbal communication system with team members to complete a given task. The team is required to create and present a solution in just minutes, thus testing a teams ability to work together in a spontaneous atmosphere.

DI Extreme: DI Extreme is a separate component of the DI program. It is well suited for high school students who dont have time to commit to the requirements of a regular DI team but still want to participate in the program. The teams still meet together in advance of the tournament, but less frequently than the standard teams, to practice team building and instant challenge skills, but their performance is put together entirely at tournament with nothing built or made in advance. Its described by many as an Instant Challenge on STEROIDS! Students can participate in a standard DI team AND a DI Extreme team, or do just one its up to them. Want to see what a DI Extreme performance looks like? Search youtube for DI Extreme and you will pull up lots of videos!

Long-Term Benefits of DI: The benefits are HUGE! DI teaches kids how to become independent thinkers and innovative problem-solvers. They learn the value of being part of a team, as well as the importance of commitment. They learn to experiment, to try many different methods to accomplish their goals and become increasingly confident about their own abilities. They learn invaluable self-motivation, time management and public speaking and presentation skills. Academic organizations have determined DI enhances students ability to meet National Education Standards, provides Gifted and Talented (GATES) level learning, and develops skills needed to perform well on the TAKS. 

As an added bonus, long-term DI participants are eligible for numerous college scholarships, and employers of major corporations routinely seek out potential employees with past DI experience on their resumes. click here for available scholarship opportunities.

How Do I Get on a DI Team? click here for a link to an application form. The deadline to turn in the form to Bobby Morris in ACE1 or Alice Vickers in 609 is Monday, October 20, 2008. Contact Tammy Wood at 817-929-2255 or tammyw@bellnunnally.com if you have questions or need more information on the DI Program.