Destination Imagination is designed to teach the creative process by encouraging students to practice important skills that they might otherwise not need to learn until much later in life. Teams learn how to work together effectively on a long-term project by imagining, creating, and evaluating their own solutions to our Challenges.

We want our kids to discover that they can solve difficult problems on their own. This includes learning from the mistakes that they are likely to make along the way. We don’t want adults to offer advice when they think that the team is headed in the wrong direction. This teaches the kids to rely on adults, when what we really want is for them to learn how to become independent.

This is why Destination Imagination requires each team to imagine, create, and develop their team’s Challenge solution completely on their own. Parents, Team Managers, family members, and friends are not allowed to intervene by suggesting ideas, or by trying to push the team in a particular direction in a well-meaning attempt to help them solve their Challenge. We call this Interference, and it’s not allowed. DI is very much a hands-on activity for the kids, but it’s strictly hands-off for adults!

Only the members of the team are allowed to work on their Challenge solution, including all of the ideas behind the team’s solution. Adults may not:

  • Suggest ways in which the team could solve the Challenge
  • Offer feedback on how they might improve their existing solution.

Although adults are not allowed to contribute to the Challenge solution, they may help team members acquire skills that they might not currently have. For example, an adult such as the team manager, a parent, or an outside expert could teach a team how to safely use power tools or show them how to use a sewing machine.

Teams cannot receive points for any portion of their Challenge solution that was created as the result of Interference. The team isn’t allowed to use ideas suggested by anyone else, even if they might have thought of the same thing on their own. It’s important for parents to understand that they must not offer suggestions to their children.

By stepping back and avoiding Interference, parents and Team Managers can allow team members to take full ownership of their Challenge solution. That sense of ownership is a crucial element of the Destination Imagination journey.

NOTE: Team Managers will also want to take a look at our Preventing Interference page.