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Owning/Managing Organization: Destination Imagination
Destination Imagination (DI) is a non-profit, volunteer-led, cause-driven organization. Their purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. Annually, they offer seven new standards-based Challenges in STEM, Improv, Visual Arts, Service Learning, and Early Learning. Each Challenge is open-ended and enables student teams to learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation. Academic tournaments take place around the world where teams have the opportunity to present their solutions to trained appraisers. Students have fun and gain confidence in their ability to solve any challenge. In working to solve the Challenges, teams learn 21st century skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship and courage) to build on their unique strengths.
Outcomes of Program:
Teams in their program learn higher order thinking and improve in creative thinking, critical thinking and collaborative problem solving. Participants learn and experience the creative process, develop new friendships and learn to work together.
Student teams in five levels (early learning, elementary grades, middle grades, secondary grades and college) select one of seven standards-based Challenges to solve. These Challenges are developed with volunteers who are subject-matter experts and educators. The Challenges take a full year to develop prior to their release.
Teams choose one of the seven Challenges. After creating and developing their solutions, they go to a local tournament. Top-scoring teams advance to their state or country tournament, also known as an Affiliate Tournament. The top-tier teams from each Affiliate Tournament have the opportunity to participate in Global Finals — the world’s largest celebration of creativity.
Each season takes place during the school year, culminating with Global Finals in May. Depending on the Challenge, teams typically spend two to four months developing and practicing their Challenge solutions.
The final program cost depends on which state or country you are located in and whether the teams compete in academic competitions. Destination Imagination charges a global team registration fee, which comes with a Team Number, program materials and access to DI University for online training. Early Learning registration ranges from $65-75 for one team and the other levels have a registration fee of $105-125 for one team. Registration fees vary depending on the type of program materials (digital or printed) a team chooses. DI is a volunteer-led organization and licenses the distribution of the challenge program to state and country volunteer organizations called Affiliates. Licensed Affiliates also charge a state or country fee for volunteer training and academic competitions. This fee varies by location and may be collected separately. In Kentucky, the regional tournament fee is typically $95 per team.
Up to seven members can be on a team, and students from kindergarten through university level participate. Each team needs an adult Team Manager. Team Managers direct students’ learning but do not directly help the team develop its solution to the DI Challenge. Team Managers are often faculty members or parents.
Teams have the opportunity to showcase their solutions at local tournaments, many of which take place between February and April. When a team qualifies at the state level, they are invited to compete at Global Finals—the world’s largest celebration of student creativity.
One per group per year.