What makes up Destination Imagination?

  1. Team Challenge: Teams use performance, art, technology, engineering, science, and real-world skills as they tackle one of the six Team Challenges. The Team Challenge solution usually takes several (3-4 months) to develop and finalize.

  2. Instant Challenge: During competition, the team will be asked to solve an Instant Challenge that is either performance-based or tasked-based or a mix of both. A performance-based challenge involves the team performing a solution for Appraisers. A tasked-based challenge involves the team using materials to move, build, change, or protect objects. A hybrid challenge incorporates both a performance and the use of materials.

What is the time commitment for my child?

Each team arranges meetings based on the schedules of the team members in collaboration with team families. Length of an average practice can vary based on the grade level of the team members:

  • Rising Stars: 60-90 minutes once per week

  • Elementary Level: 60-120 minutes once per week

  • Middle Level: 90-120 minutes once per week

  • Senior Level: varies widely depending on team member schedules

How does my child join a Destination Imagination team?

Interested students register for Destination Imagination (DI) beginning in September through October. The process generally involves matching returning and new students together based on student preference, availability, and grade level as well as the willingness of adults to act as Team Managers. Teams may have as few as three or as many as seven team members. While we cannot promise that every interested student is placed on a team, we make every effort to ensure that students are placed on a team.

What is a Team Manager?

A team manager acts as a coach for the team. Because of the Non-Interference Policy, Team Managers cannot suggest or tell team members how to solve their challenge, but rather, they equip their team with skills to aide them in their creation of their solution. Team Managers are mentored and given training on how best to facilitate the creative process for their team.

How old does my child have to be?

Children may participate in Destination Imagination from Kindergarten through college, although Saline DI consists of students in grades K-12. Students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade participate in Rising Stars, which is a non-competitive level designed to introduce younger students to DI. Children in 3rd grade and above are organized into teams at the Elementary Level (3-5th grade), Middle Level (6th-8th grade), and Senior Level (9-12th grade).

How long is the Destination Imagination season?

Teams begin meeting in late October to early November (and even as late as December for some high school teams). All teams present their Team Challenge at the Regional Tournament at Saline Middle School on March 18, 2017. Competition level teams (Elementary, Middle, and Senior Levels) that place in 1st through 3rd place in their team challenge advance to the State Tournament held at Central Michigan University, Saturday, April 8, 2017. At State Tournament, the top-three teams in each Challenge for each level advance to Global Finals, which is held at University of Tennessee, Knoxville May 24th through 27th.

How much does it cost to participate in Saline DI?

See our cost summary for details on costs, refunds, and what is included.

How do teams choose their Team Challenge?

Destination Imagination fosters the creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration of students working with students. While Team Managers provide assistance, it is only the  team members who have the power to decide. Their first major team decision is their section of the Team Challenge.

How do I become a Team Manager?

If you are interested in coaching a DI team, please contact the Saline DI Program Coordinator at ginger@salinedi.org. Team managers come from scientific, educational, engineering, or any of a variety of backgrounds. The only qualification for being a Team manager is a willingness to participate in the open-ended and creative process of DI. The majority of new teams start with Co-Managers, and it is suggested that new managers attend a half-day training session in November.

If I am not a Team Manager, how else can I be involved?

The following list is from Destination Imagination. More information for parents can also be found at www.destinationimagination.org.

  • Understand the Rules of Interference. DI Challenges are all about allowing kids to create on their own without help from any adults or non-team members.

  • Share your skills! Learning new skills is a big part of the DI process and can help teams in solving a Challenge. From acting to engineering to learning how to use a power drill, parents are encouraged to share their skills and talents with their team. You can also help coordinate field trips or outdoor skills workshop.

  • Host the team or at your house. DI teams need a space to have their team meetings and work on their solution.

  • Provide snacks. Between idea generation and building a solution, kids often get hungry at team meetings. Provide them with healthy snacks or purchase them for the Team Manager so that he or she can provide them at upcoming team meetings.

  • Become a Tournament Appraiser or other volunteer. DI is a volunteer-run organization. Without our amazing volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to develop Challenges or host tournaments. Even giving back for one day helps!

  • Help out as a Co-Team Manager. One of the biggest gifts you can give is to become a co-Team Manager. By having more than one Team Manager, you can split up some of the work and alleviate some of the pressure. For example, one of you can oversee the Team Challenge while the other oversees Instant Challenge.

What are the Rules of Interference?

First, we want to clarify, the rules are about not interfering with any part of the team’s solution to their Team Challenge. What does this mean? Simply:

Interference is any help or input from a non-team member

Parents have found not interfering to be somewhat challenging because, unlike other activities, there is no correct answer. The only rule (mostly) of DI is “If it doesn’t say you can’t, you can”. Here are some common situations to be aware of:

  • Your child asks if you like something related to their Team Challenge.

    • Interference: “I love it”, “It looks great”

    • Non-interference: “What do you like about it?”, “It looks like a lot of work, tell me how you and the team created it.”, “If you like it, that is the most important thing.”

  • Your child promised the team to finish a task, but it is late and they have an early morning the next day.

    • Interference: “Go on to bed, I’ll finish it.”, “Don’t worry, I’ll take it out of the oven when the timer goes off.”

    • Noninterference: It is okay to help your child clean up any materials or mess, but it is not permissible to interact with the Team Challenge item (beyond moving it). In other words, it is okay to take a baked object out of the oven but only the child can decide when the object needs to be removed from the oven.

  • At tournament, part of a prop comes undone or a portion of a costume is not quite right.

    • Interference: Fixing, adjusting, or telling the team members that something is wrong.

    • Noninterference: It is perfectly okay to ask the team to look over everything and double (or triple) check that everything is the way they want it to be when they present their challenge solution. Some ways to accomplish this is to ask questions like “What is everyone carrying? Does everyone have what they need? Does anything need to be repaired or changed?”

Where and When are the Tournaments?

Region 2 Tournament

Saturday, March 18th

Saline Middle School

7190 N. Maple Rd.

Saline, MI 48176

State Tournament

Saturday, April 8th

Central Michigan University

1200 S. Franklin St.  

Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

Global Finals

May 24th through 27th

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

How do I find out more about Destination Imagination?

More information can be found

  • At the International DI Program website

  • For state-level information at the Michigan Creativity Association website

Email the SalineDI board at questions@salinedi.org or by clicking “Contact Us” at the bottom of the page.