[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
This past week nine of Dover-Sherborn’s 18 Destination Imagination (DSDI) teams competed in “Instant Challenge Nights” against teams from around the MetroWest area.
The team worked together to take 10 pieces of paper, two pipe cleaners and five popsicle sticks to see how high they could build a tower on one of their teammate’s backs in three minutes.
It was a night filled with creativity, excitement, fun and learning. Veteran DSDI participants shared their experiences, and everyone benefitted from being part of such a great night. Teams walked away with a list of lessons learned and tips on how to get the best and most creative solution possible in a relatively short period of time.
Destination Imagination (DI) is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. Parents volunteer to serve as team managers and are provided training to enable them to run productive and fun meetings for the kids while following the “No Interference” rule – the solution is 100 percent developed by the team without input from any outsiders.
Instant Challenges are short, “on-the-spot” challenges, requiring teams to engage in quick, creative and critical thinking. This is a fun way to challenge the teams, but this is just one of two challenges DI teams are asked to complete on competition day.
At the heart of the DI program is the Central Challenge, which DSDI teams have already been working on for several months. Each year, the global DI program offers seven new Challenges in STEM, improv, vsual arts, service learning and early learning. Each Challenge is open-ended and enables students to learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation while fostering their creativity, courage, curiosity and ability to work in a team environment.
All of this culminates in a regional tournament on March 12 at Wayland High School. Any team winning their age and challenge division there progresses on to the State Tournament on March 26 at WPI in Worcester. From there, winning teams move to the global finals on May 25-28 in Knoxville, TN.
The program was brought to Dover-Sherborn in 2010 and piloted with just one team of five students. The program has since expanded and is stronger than ever with eighteen teams from the Dover-Sherborn Middle School, Chickering and Pine Hill Schools participating. The DSDI program is now the largest team in the region which includes teams from Wayland, Newton, Wellesley, Natick and other much larger towns.
With more than ninety students participating in DSDI, the program is clearly having an impact on students of all ages. For the last three years, DSDI has had teams advance to the Global competition level with one of last year’s teams placing seventh in the world in their respective challenge.