The DI Experience: Getting Started

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Welcome to the 2016-17 Destination Imagination (DI) Challenge experience! By now, you most likely have received or printed copies of all the Team Challenges, the Rules of the Road and Roadmap. If you’re at this point, you should also have a team of 2-7 excited team members in one of three Levels (Elementary, Middle or Secondary). NOTE: If you are a Rising Stars! (3-to 7-year-olds) Team Manager, you can pick and choose the bits and pieces of this blog post that you find most useful.

As you flip through the different Challenge booklets, Rules of the Road and Roadmap, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of information available for you and your team to read and understand. Take a deep breath. The Challenges, Rules of the Road and Roadmap all come in individual booklets this year to help you focus only on what you need, when you need it.

The first thing you should do is open the Roadmap booklet or download it from the Resource Area.

The Roadmap is your friend. It is like your personal coach as you lead your team through the Destination Imagination journey. After all, the journey is the most important aspect of DI. Roadmap is divided into two sections:

  • Processes and Skills
  • Plans and Ideas for Team Sessions/Meetings

It includes the creative process, the Project Management process and project-based learning techniques for you to use as you facilitate your team through a rich learning experience that will help them become more collaborative, more confident and more creative thinkers. These are all 21st century skills and outcomes that continue to be important for future success in work and life.

If you use Roadmap frequently, your team will be more successful in applying the creative process.

In the very first session, there is a helpful tool, called the Team Choice Element Inventory, that can help your team choose the Team Challenge that it will spend the next few months solving.

The Team Choice Element Inventory (page 26) is a four-part activity. It is a good session starter because it allows team members to learn more about each other and themselves. Instructions are on each form to lead you through these simple steps:

  • First, have each team member fill out the Individual Specialties Inventory
  • Second, have the team add their scores on the Individual Specialties Tally Sheet
  • Third, combine all team member scores on the Team Specialties Tally Sheet
  • Fourth, discuss the results and talk about how your team’s talents might help you choose a Team Challenge

Your team is now ready to consider each Team Challenge. This year, there are 6 different Challenge categories to choose from that all integrate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) concepts. To get an inside look at this year’s Challenges, visit our Challenge Previews page.

Before your team members makes any decisions about which Challenge they would like to choose, they should:

  • Read each Challenge (or at least the Points of Interest found at the beginning of each Challenge)
  • Consider the results of their Team Specialties Inventory
  • Discuss basic solutions for each Challenge
  • Don’t forget to have fun doing it! This process should be enjoyable.

After the team members feel fully informed about each Challenge, they can then take a vote.

If team members cannot decide which Challenge to take on because of a tie, they can use the Paired Choice Analysis Form on page 94 of Roadmap. This activity will allow the team to turn their individual Challenge preferences into number values. It will also help take the emotion out of choosing a Challenge because whichever Challenge receives the most points, wins!

Once your team members have chosen their Challenge, they are ready to start their adventure!

Good luck, teams!

For more tips on how to best manage your team this season, view our Team Manager Tips blog series here.

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