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Rising Stars

Getting organized

  • Teams form in a variety of ways sometimes beginning with just two friends who make a new team or by new students joining existing teams 
  • Teams have 2-7 students that are typically within a grade level of each other
  • Teams research a given topic, write a story, create simple props and/or costumes, and present their solution as an 8-minute play


  • To begin, teams must have a volunteer Team Manager (TM) who is 18 years old or older 
  • TMs provide a safe learning environment either in a home or school
  • RS: TMs guide the team through researching the topic, creating a story, and constructing props and/or costumes from everyday items such as cardboard, recyclable material, fabric, PVC, duck tape, and old toys
  • TMs guide the team on the requirements of the Team Challenge and the Rules of the Road
  • All Team Managers complete a background at the onset of each season
  • Saline DI and helps train new TMs and provides support to all TMs throughout the season
  • Michigan Creativity offers one training session for new TMs each season
  • TMs get a Road Map of the season that includes tasks and activities for things like team building, conflict resolution, understanding the Team Challenge, and how to support without interfering in the team’s solution

What's the season look like?

Getting Started

Register for the season through Saline DI or Saline Community Education 

  • Saline DI will try to match new students by grade level to form new teams
  • New students joining with a friend or two (or more) should include their names during registration
  • There must be a Team Manager and a minimum of 3 students (maximum of 7) to form a new team
Once students have found each other, families decide on the meeting schedule and location (more details below)

Phase 1 (October to November)
  • The TM provides resources and can teach skills, but the solution to the open-ended challenges are completely student-driven. 
  • Parents are required to sign a non-Interference Agreement so they are discouraged from interfering in the student-led solutions.
  • Teams practice team building while solving Instant Challenges each meeting.  They become aware of the requirements of their Team Challenge and start generating ideas on how to solve it collaboratively. 

Phase 2 (November to December)

  • Finalizing core Team Challenge solutions through trial, error, and try some more. They research, explore, and experiment then start to commit to options and build sets and items that fulfill required elements for the Team Challenge.
  • Begin creating technical, artistic, and storyline elements to incorporate in their 8-min skit solution

Phase 3 (January to February)

  • Finalize the technical, artistic, and storyline elements
  • Practice presenting the solution in the allotted time and space
  • Practice Instant Challenges 

Phase 4 (February to March)

  • Dress rehearsal at Demo Day 
  • Make adjustments before Regional Tournament
  • Improve, assess, and rework ideas to prepare for State Tournament
  • Use feedback from each tournament to continue to excel 

Phase 5 (April)

  • Reflecting and celebrating at the end-of-Season Banquet

Meetings? When, where, and who?
  • When: once per week on a day and time that is chosen by the team
  • Where: families choose, usually someone’s basement or a room at Liberty
  • Who: Team Managers, students, and often 1 parent who co-Manages or helps with Instant Challenges

Managers, Appraisers, and Volunteers, oh my!

Team Managers (TMs) are in the unique position to witness the creative process of a group of 3-7 students as they work to solve an open-ended challenge
  • Are often parents, caregivers, mentors, or teachers
  • Are at least 18 years of age, and pass a background check from DI 
  • Typically give 1-2 hours per week for practice
  • Gather materials for Instant Challenges 
  • Facilitate meetings but don’t dictate solutions to the students
  • Communicate with parents
  • The time commitment involved is usually the 1-2 hours a week of practice time, as well as (1) gathering materials that the team needs for the next practice session and (2) communicating with the parents of the students about practices, tournaments, etc.  TMs are encouraged to find a partner to coach with them.  We call these Co-TMs.
  • Appraisers serve at the Regional, State, and Global level tournaments to evaluate the solutions of the students’ solutions in an informative and supportive way. 
  • Appraisers can be parents, teachers, extended family, mentors, teachers, and alumni.   
  • Appraisers annually attend training to learn about the new Team Challenges, and are encouraged to award points where the team has earned it.

Volunteers are needed every year to administer this educational program.  Various opportunities are available (but not limited to) the following:

  • Board members
  • Team Managers
  • Parents who bring snacks & supplies to the student teams
  • Volunteers to help staff various events such as: Ice Cream Social, Huddle, Demo Day, fundraising events like Car Washes in the fall and spring, parent volunteers at the tournaments, Year-end Banquet
  • Appraisers
Email: questions@salinedi.org