(Team Managers and local DI coordinators might also want to take a look at our FAQ for Team Managers and Coordinators.)
What is Destination Imagination?
This is not an easy question to answer in just a few words. You really need to see this program in action to truly appreciate it! But even though a picture might be worth a thousand words, we think a video would be even better:
What is the time commitment for DI?
This can vary widely depending on the team. Some teams meet several times a week, while others meet once a week; some teams have short meetings, and some teams have longer meetings. A team might start meeting in September; other teams don’t start until November or December.
It’s a good idea for the Team Manager(s) to have a conversation with the team members and parents at the start of the season. This is a way to make sure everyone has the same expectations regarding the meeting schedule.
Please note that teams often discover that they will need to schedule additional meetings in order to finish everything in time for their regional tournament, which will be held in March. Don’t be surprised if this happens! It’s just a way in which participants learn how important it can be to manage their time wisely.
The NH State Tournament is held in late March or the beginning of April, and Global Finals is in late May. Your team could advance, so it might be a good idea to check our Calendar of Events page, and add these dates to your own calendar.
Where can I find copies of the Challenges?
Brief summaries of the Challenge summaries are available at both the NH-DI web site and DestinationImagination.org, but before your team can get started on their Team Challenge, they will need a copy of the full Challenge. This is a detailed description of the Challenge that is typically 8 to 15 pages in length. Access to the Challenges is restricted to teams that have purchased a Team Number from Destination Imagination.
All of the DI program materials are distributed in electronic form. Team Managers and Coordinators access them using the Resource Area at DestinationImagination.org—see our FAQ for Team Managers and Coordinators for the details. If you have trouble accessing the Challenges, please contact NH-DI so we can walk you through the process.
What is Interference?
Destination Imagination teams have complete ownership of their Challenge solution. Only team members may contribute ideas, and the team must design and build everything they feel they need to solve their Challenge. No one else is allowed to work on their Challenge solution. Help from non-team members, including Team Managers, is called Interference. The team’s solution is theirs alone. It is something that the team builds through their own acquisition of skills, and from their own understanding of the Challenge and rules.
- Up to seven team members may contribute ideas, work on the solution, and participate in the team’s Presentation at the Tournament. Every idea for every part of their unique solution must come from the team members, and the team members ONLY. If an idea is offered by someone not on the team, the team may not use that idea, even if they might have thought of it themselves later on.
- If someone not on the team, including a Team Manager, builds or creates an item using the team’s idea, they may not use that item. The team must start over and build it themselves in their own way. If someone not on the team, such as a Team Manager or a parent, tells the team how to do something, whether they are building something new or just practicing their Presentation, the team must politely tell that person to let them do it themselves.
- If the team does not have the skills needed to build their idea, they must learn those skills or find another way to do the project. For example, a drama teacher may teach them acting skills, but cannot direct the team as they practice the actual skit. A professional welder or shop teacher may teach team members how to weld, but that person may not show them how to weld any part of the team’s actual solution. If the team is not able to weld it themselves, they must find another way to solve that part of the Challenge.
For more information, please refer to the Rules of the Road.
Rules of the Road? What is that?
The Rules of the Road is a book that explains the general rules that apply to every Destination Imagination team, regardless of the Team Challenge that they have selected.
It is very important for every team to read the Rules of the Road. If you are a Team Manager or Coordinator, you can download the electronic version from the Resource Area at DestinationImagination.org. You’ll need your Team Number when you access this area of the DI website for the first time, so be sure to have this handy.
The first part of the Rules of the Road contains a brief description of Destination Imagination, and its goals, methods, and assessment processes.
The second part of the Rules of the Road describes all of the rules that your team must follow as they work on their Team Challenge. For example, there is a section to explain the rules about Interference, a list of safety restrictions, and the rules for calculating the expenses that your team must list on their Expense Report.
The third part of the Rules of the Road describes the procedures that will be used at your Tournament. For example, there is a description of the way in which teams will be scored.
How can parents help the Team Manager?
There are many ways in which parents can help out:
- Take turns providing a snack, or making all of the phone calls when the Team Manager needs to schedule (or reschedule) a team meeting.
- Assist at team meetings. It can be very helpful to have another adult to help monitor the kids as they work on their Team Challenge. The team will probably find that they need to break up into smaller groups, so they can work independently on different props, devices, or costumes. It’s nice to have someone who can supervise the kids in the next room who are painting the scenery, while another adult monitors the group that’s cutting PVC pipe and drilling holes in a piece of plywood.
- Volunteer to be your team’s Appraiser. This is the term that DI uses for the tournament officials that run each Challenge site, and score all of the teams. In order to do this properly, we need many Appraisers for every tournament, and every NH team is required to find at least one adult who is willing to do this. Your team’s Appraiser should plan on one Saturday for training, and a second Saturday at a regional Tournament.
- Volunteer to help on the day of the Tournament. Each team must provide a volunteer who can work for two hours on the day of the Tournament. For example, they might be assigned to help check in the teams as they arrive before the start of the Tournament, or work at the concessions area.
- Become the assistant Team Manager. The job is much easier when there is someone else to share it!
- Provide a place for the team to work, if the Team Manager would rather not have them work in their own home.
Do you have any additional tips for parents?
Here are some tips to consider if your child is in the program (courtesy of Destination Imagination):
- Be aware of Interference. Destination Imagination teaches the creative process by allowing kids to solve Challenges together as a team. A big part of our program is the Interference policy: in short, kids have to imagine, create and develop solutions on their own. Parents, Team Managers, family and friends can’t suggest ideas or force teams in certain directions. It’s very important for the kids to do their own research and get their hands dirty. Outsiders can only facilitate the acquisition of skills and knowledge. For example, if the team needs to learn carpentry, a parent might contact a local contractor to teach the kids, or teach them himself. This must be teaching of general skills only. It is up to the kids to take these general carpentry skills and use them as they see fit in their Challenge solution.
- Be patient. Destination Imagination is Challenge based and process based. It also helps kids make friends and learn to work together. This means that a team will take a unique path to a unique solution. It will take time, and the kids may experience conflict along the way. The key is helping the kids to process the experience as they go. Give them an avenue to discuss opinions and vent frustrations together.
- Learn about the program. There are many moving parts to the Destination Imagination program. You can learn a lot about the program by reviewing the Program Materials, which are included with the purchase of a Team Number. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
How do you register a team?
There are several steps involved:
- Purchase a Team Number from Destination Imagination’s headquarters in New Jersey.
- Assign a Team Manager to the team, and ask them to complete their background check.
- Register the team for the regional tournament to which your town is assigned.
For more of the details, please see our FAQ for Team Managers and Coordinators.
If you have any difficulty completing the registration process, you can consult the online help after you login, or give us a call.