A central tenet of the DI program is that teams develop their own solution to the challenge they choose.  Parents, friends and team managers cannot create parts of the solution for them.

Interference occurs when the team violates this tenet.

You can learn about interference by

The triangle at the right explains Interference graphically. It divides help the team might receive into 3 areas:

  1. Skills the team acquires
    It is expected the team will gain skills during the DI season.  Others can teach them skills provided the instruction is not a part of building the solution.
  2. The team can receive help in understanding the Challenge and Rules of the Road.
    When giving this assistance stay clear of using examples that might show up in the solution.
  3. The actual Solution
    This is what the team will present.  It will draw from skills learned and an understanding of the Challenge, but must be based on the kids own ideas and work.

While appraising a solution, appraisers may feel that the solution presented includes work that the team is unlikely to have done without help.  If this is the case, then during the interview of the team after the presentation appraisers should ask questions to determine if this is the case.  For example:

  • who did this?
  • can you tell me how this works?
  • where did the idea come from?

Based on the team's answers you can usually determine if the team had help with the solutions.  For example:

  • My dad showed me how to weld when we were working on some deck furniture. That's how I learned. (no interference here as the skill was acquired not as a part of the solution)
  • My mom suggested we use taffeta in the bodice of the dress.  We practiced on a dress we did not use. (interference as mom chose taffeta for the dress).
  • I don't know. We found it at the dump. (you need to ask more questions as a ready made part of the kids solution are not typically found at the dump.)

Interference does not disqualify the team, but it will result in a deduction.  Your Head Appraiser will work with your team on assessing such a deduction.