National Program Promotes Out-of-the-Box Thinking

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Desination ImagiNation is a global, non-profit program that helps to organize teams of up to seven kids who work together to come up with creative solutions to a challenge.

Desination ImagiNation is a global, non-profit program that helps to organize teams of up to seven kids who work together to come up with creative solutions to a challenge. Last year, in Colorado, 977 teams registered, made up of 6,839 Colorado students. In total, over 80,000 participants from more than 30 different countries. Odyssey of the Mind, a similar, more scientific, program, was founded in 1978 by Dr. C. Samuel Micklus and Dr. Theodore Gourley. The Destination ImagiNation program branched off of the OM in 1999.

 

Each year, teams can choose to solve one of seven different challenges, with a few exceptions. The challenges can be scientific, technical, fine arts, improvisational, structural, and service learning. There is also a non-competitive challenge, called rising stars, for younger participants. The service-learning challenge was new last year, and is only offered to 6th grade and above.

 

A perfect example of a challenge is the structural challenge from last year. It was called 'Breaking DI News'. The team had to build a structure out of newspaper and glue, that holds as much weight as possible. In addition, you have to come up with a skit that retells a news-story. Actually, every challenge requires a skit about one thing or another. This is my 4th year in the program, but it doesn't take that long to get used to it.

 

Evan Mocilac says that his favorite part is, "The instant challenges, because you have to sit and think what to do to solve it right then and there." The instant challenges are another aspect of the challenge. The team has to solve a problem using limited materials as well as time. You also have no warning of what this will be. These challenges are often worth 80 – 100 points, and often make – or – break a team at competition.

 

For more info on Destination imagiNation, visit the Colorado DI website at www.extremecreativity.org, or the national one at www.idodi.org.