Just a Little Q & A
Links to Additional Resources
What is DI?
Destination Imagination is nearly impossible to describe in the full scope of its wonder. We can wax poetically and endlessly about pedagogy and innovative enrichment, but DI cannot be wholly understood until you have experienced it. The best and most accurate definitions come from the team members who excitedly and passionately discuss their adventures (and misadventures) in problem-solving and tournament presentation.
Suffice for now to say, DI is: A program in which school-aged children work in teams from 2 to 7 members to solve Challenges (long term, open-ended problems) and practice Instant Challenges (improvisational problems that must be solved in only a few minutes).
What is my main role as a Team Manager?
Team Managers should help facilitate learning, guide time-management, and assist team members in acquiring skills. The most important thing to remember is that this program is student-driven! When it comes to creating a solution to the Challenge, there is absolutely no outside help allowed. Team managers are there to supervise, provide resources, and teach skills, teamwork and problem-solving skills. The Team Members generate the ideas, execute the ideas, and plan a performance showcasing their ideas.
Your responsibilities include:
What are the different types of Challenges?
At tournaments, teams will compete in an Instant Challenge as well as a Central Challenge.
Teams practice different Instant Challenges (ICs) throughout the year; an IC is something of a quick improvisational game that challenges team members to cooperate, collaborate, act quickly, and think on their toes. Some ICs are performance based (e.g. "Here is a prop. Tell a story backwards about a character who finds an unexpected use for this prop. You have 4 minutes to plan your story and 2 minutes to perform it."). Some ICs are task based (e.g. "Here are some popsicle sticks, straws, paper, and string. Build a bridge that is as long as possible, but also holds as much weight as possible. You have 5 minutes to build and test your bridge. Then, your bridge length will be measured and you will have 2 minutes to add weights to your bridge."). Some ICs are both performance and task based.
Teams will also work long-term on a Central Challenge. New Challenges are written each year for the following categories:
There's an abundance of resources to help the new and experienced team managers. Many states have created libraries of resources and a number of them are shown below with links to the websites. To minimize website ping pong of going back and forth from this page to the resource, we open links in new browser windows. When notified by your browser that a pop-up was blocked, please allow pop-ups from the WA-DI website.
USE AGREEMENT: It is expected that this content is public domain and is sourced from our talented volunteers and other DI affiliates. If any of the content should be removed, please contact us. This material is for the use of Destination Imagination teams, their parents, educators, and team managers and may not be sold or used for commercial endeavors.
DI HQ offers clarifications, tips, and other resources here.
DI HQ also offers a Resource Library with various challenges and ideas to get the creative juices flowing, as well as some general webinars!
The Destination Imagination Roadmap is a superb and extensive source of information for Team Managers. Access it through Destination Imagination Resources.
DII blog has tips for NEW TEAM MANAGERS
STAY IN THE KNOW - (PowerPoint) More resources on the DII Website and Blog! Clarifications and More Resources on the DI Resource Site!
Get inspired and watch DI performances on YouTube or check out this collection of Challenge performances over the years!
Read through WA's past collection of newsletters here.
Lessons for New Team Managers
FACTS FOR TEAM MANAGERS is a quick one page flyer with plenty of tips for team managers from the Iowa Affiliate
A series of 2 minute videos created by a DI team
Here's a list of 10 WAYS TO GET STARTED with your team
TEAM MANAGER TRAINING 101 from WI DI
NOW WHAT? is a fun presentation on some of the initial steps for a new team manager
CALIFORNIA TEAM MANAGER RESOURCES covers almost everything from start to finish!
KNOW THE EXPECTATIONS for Team Members, Team Managers, and Parents
OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONING is an excellent skill for TMs
Webinar Training: email firstname.lastname@example.org for newly released training videos. You can also browse DI Colorado's videos as they often post webinars.
DI supplies room inventory suggestions
Here is a 35-minute video by a team and team manager that provides a good overview of the program: from team formation to the Global tournament.
Why be a Team Manager?
Being a DI Team Manager is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a volunteer. You get to witness the growth of your team and the amazing, unique, and unexpected solutions they develop. Along the way, you learn how to build teams and teach creative problem-solving, while also forming lasting relationships with your team members and other adult volunteers.
“Unlike any other organization I’ve come across, I see that DI teaches extremely valuable real-world skills that will give my kids, and the kids on my team a major head-start in life. They don’t get these valuable skills in school and very few other organizations are effective at teaching and encouraging them. More than ever, the engine of our economy is “American Ingenuity” and I want my kids to enter the working world with strong skills in this area. Being part of DI is very satisfying – and worth my time. I’ve developed a much deeper and meaningful relationship with my kids (and other DI team members) through DI. DI has prompted some great “kitchen table” discussions with my kids on very practical real-world issues. It’s also allowed me to play a major increased role in their lives and in their development that I know they value.”
- Scott Dalgleish
What skills do I need to be a Team Manager?
How do I form a Team?
Once you have decided to become a DI Team Manager, you need to find or create a team. You can learn more about the process of starting a team here.
Teams are formed by finding students that are interested in DI. How do you find these students?
1. See if any friends of your student are interested
2. Ask your child’s teacher for names of students that might like DI
3. Send out a flyer to students (or the parents of students) in the grade levels that would be on your team
4. Meet with the coordinator of your school for help forming a team
5. Post on the Washington DI Facebook page to see if any parents in your area are also interested in forming a team, or whether any students in your area are hoping to join a team
6. Consider partnerships and check with local youth organizations (from The Boys and Girls Club to library programs)
Teams are formed with 2 to 7 students, often in the same school and grade level. However, ANY group of 7 or fewer students can be a team! You can form teams in your neighborhood, home school association, school, or church.
How do I learn how to be a Team Manager?
When you purchase a team number, you receive training and Challenge materials, including a Roadmap outlining your first 16 team meetings, Team Manager trainings, and webinar trainings.
Manager Mentor Duties (if you are interested in serving as a TM mentor)
For more free resources from DI Click here
Practice, Practice, and Practice. Instant Challenge (IC) accounts for about 25% of the total scores in a tournament and teaches different skills than the central challenge. It is helpful to practice ICs throughout the season.
Do Instant Challenges in the classroom - quick and easy with this CLASSROOM CHALLENGE ACTIVITIES GUIDE
Instant Challenge Tips
DII has a number of FREE INSTANT CHALLENGE RESOURCES
EXPLORE MATERIAL PROPERTIES to get the team thinking about the various properties of props that may find in a challenge
INSTANT CHALLENGE MASTER TEAM MANAGER (PowerPoint) Training from our Olympic Regional Director gives a ton of ideas!
Below is a 2014 - 2015 video from DII that shows numerous solutions to a specific instant challenge.
Two of our teams from Mukilteo are included!
Consider attending Team Manager Training and events.
You can also reach out to your Regional Director and Regional Challenge Master to get your questions answered. We will help you through every step of the process.
We know that being a Team Manager can be difficult, and we want all Team Managers - especially new Team Managers - to feel supported.
Also, our volunteers are available by phone or email to answer any question, or just talk to you about the process. Contact us anytime!
How much time do I need for DI?
The DI season begins around the start of September, with the release of the season’s Challenges, and may end with the Regional Tournaments in the spring. Most Team Managers start in the late fall, but some don’t begin until January.
The average Team Manager meets with the team once a week for 2-3 hours. As the tournament approaches, the team may decide to add additional practice time. Time requirements may vary by age, Challenge, and the competitive ambitions of the team.
Teams placing at their Regional Tournament may advance to the State Tournament (usually around April) and teams placing at State may advance to Global Finals at the end of May.
How much does DI cost?
$105 Challenge Materials and DI Team Number Registration Packet
+ $95 Washington State Affiliate Fee
=$200 for the entire Team
Practice and Challenge materials
Average of $250
(DI emphasizes using inexpensive or recycled materials)
Regional T-shirts and Pins
About $20-30 per team member
$85 – $110 per team member over the course of a season and generally 16+ hours of team meetings
(State and Global participation would increase this cost)
Compare that to:
These resources focus on specific skills or skills for a specific challenge category such as technical or structural.
DRAMA SKILLS FOR DI TEAMS
TOOLS AND MATERIALS LESSONS from the Texas DI website. No longer maintained so some links may be incorrect, but a wealth of information.
THE IMPROV ENCYCLOPEDIA has lots of games and references to help teach improv skills.
STRUCTURE TEST DEVICE is a long-standing plan on how to build a structure tester. As this will not be used in the challenge solution but only test the rules against interference do not apply.
STRUCTURE CHALLENGE RESOURCES (Web Link) from the New York Affiliate has lots of great information for structure teams!
STRUCTURE WORKSHOP from the Texas affiliate provides additional insight in to managing the challenge with your team.
STRUCTURE TEAM MANAGER GUIDE by Bill Allen, maker of the Test structure plans, gives additional team manager guidance for skills often needed for the structure challenge.
TECHNICAL CHALLENGE ADVICE covers some thoughts on challenge solutions
Click here for how to build a structure tester
Creativity and Teamwork
12 Ways to Promote Creativity During the Summer
Creative Skills Presentation how to coach without interfering
Process & Tools to Creativity is about moving teams along the creative process to their challenge solution
Teamwork for DI Teams has a number of exercises to aid teams in being a team with team goals
Intro to Problem Solving
Team building PowerPoint
Remember, when it comes to Challenges, if it doesn't say you can't, then you can!