Over 200 volunteers from around the state learned how to appraise competitive creativity, innovation and teamwork at Destination ImagiNation Appraiser training Saturday at Milford Middle School.  This March, they will use their skills to appraise the solutions of over 2,000 New Hampshire students competing in Destination ImagiNation Challenges. These mind-bending Challenges incorporate core school subjects with a focus that is technical, scientific, fine arts, improvisational, structural or social-learning.

[Photos from this event are now posted]

“Teams work all year to generate solutions to these complex Challenges”, according to Wayne Kurtzman, a New Hampshire Destination ImagiNation Board member. “The hard part: These must be solved solely by the student team. As the teams of up to seven students solve these Challenges, they build critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication skills as well as a sense of confidence. These are transferable life skills”.  Kurtzman cites these benefits as one of the reason for growth in the program.

This year, some Milford area teams were brought in to demonstrate firsthand the “think on your feet” skills that are part of the Instant Challenge portion of the competition.

During the competition, the Appraisers wear elaborate and frequently humorous hats. Kurtzman explains, “Often, the kids get stressed on competition day. It’s hard to remain stressed when the adults who are appraising your team are wearing creative and sometime very silly hats.”