Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination

What is DI?  Destination ImagiNation, also known as DI, is the world's largest creative problem solving program for students from kindergarten to university level.  DI is currently active in all 50 states and in 40 countries, with more than 12,000 teams supported by more than 40,000 volunteers.  Find out all the details on the DI program by visiting


How DI Operates in Northwest ISD:  Our district has over 40 DI teams participate in the Regional Tournament.  A team from Lakeview Elementary and a Medlin Middle School team advanced from Regionals to the State Championship in 2008.  The Medlin team went on from State to take 4th place in the WORLD at the Global Finals competition in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The DI competition levels within our school district include Elementary (K-5th grade), Middle (6th-8th grade) and Secondary (9th-12th grade).  Applications can be picked up from the D.I. sponsor, the front office of the school, or on this web page. Teams of up to seven students, managed by a volunteer Team Manager parent (usually a parent of a student on the team) work together in after-school or weekend weekly meetings to solve one of several Challenges and present their final solution at a Regional Competition.  They compete against only those students at their competitive level who have selected the same Challenge.


The Central Challenge:  DI is divided into two separate segments of competition:  the Central Challenge and Instant Challenge.  Teams select one of several complex Central Challenges to solve, with each having required elements but plenty of room for creative elaboration.  Teams meet for months, working on solutions to their Challenges, creating scripts, props, costumes, and sets.  Teams have to create each element of their solution on their own they can have instruction on general concepts, but everything you see on performance day is designed, written and constructed solely by team members.


The Instant Challenge:  During months of working on solving their Central Challenge, teams also practice general creative problem solving skills to solve theatrical, structural and hybrid Instant Challenges (IC).  ICs are designed to teach students to think quickly, creatively and strategically.  At tournament, each team is given an IC it has not encountered before.  For example, a team may be asked to create and perform a play using a given set of items, manipulate materials to build a structure, or develop a non-verbal communication system with team members to complete a given task.  The team is required to create and present a solution in just minutes, thus testing a teams ability to work together in a spontaneous atmosphere.


Long-Term Benefits of DI:  The benefits are HUGE!  DI teaches kids how to become independent thinkers and innovative problem-solvers.  They learn the value of being part of a team, as well as the importance of commitment.  They learn to experiment, to try many different methods to accomplish their goals and become increasingly confident about their own abilities.  They learn invaluable self-motivation, time management and public speaking and presentation skills.  Academic organizations have determined DI enhances students ability to meet National Education Standards, provides Gifted and Talented (GATES) level learning, and develops skills needed to perform well on the TAKS.  As an added bonus, long-term DI participants are eligible for numerous college scholarships, and employers of major corporations routinely seek out potential employees with past DI experience on their resumes.