Frequently Asked Questions
Destination Imaginatino teaches students the skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. We use challenge-based learning to give them the opportunity to learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation. The result is that students pre-K through college learn social and emotional intelligence, literacy, and how to proactively solve problems. Through these experiences kids create new neural pathways in their brains that will move them to higher-order thinking and to a new level of self-efficacy. Together, we can change the world, one team at a time!
There are 2 basic sets of paperwork required for the tournament. Mid-Cities forms and DI forms.
Mid-Cities forms - required for ALL teams
- Media Release - signed by the parent of each participant and turned in at team registration on tournament day
- Medical Release - completed for each participating team member. This paperwork is checked when you pickup your registration packet but is retained by the Team Manager through the tournament day
Each challenge has its own requirements (the requirements are listed on the Tournament Data Form) but in general it includes:
- 5 copies of Tournament Data Form (Starry Showcase form for Rising Star Teams)
- 2 copies of Declaration of Independence (Optional for Rising Star teams)
- 1 copy of Expense report (optional for Rising Star teams)
As a Team Manager you should plan on:
- Attending Team Manager training (Check the Team Manager Training Links on the left side of the webpage)
- Studying the DI Program materials. While it is not up to you to solve the challenges, it is up to you to make sure the team understands the rules of the progrm and of the challenge they have chosed to solve.
- Spending a lot of time with your team (See the FAQ regarding how much time it takes)
- Giving up at least part a part of your garage for storage of props the team is working on
- Recruiting an Appraiser to represent your team. This is a REQUIREMENT for participating in the Mid-Cities Regional Tournament. This appraiser should not be the parent of one of your team members. Appraisers must attend a 1/2 day training (typically the end of January) and work the Mid-Cities tournament (full day) the end of February or the beginning of March. Teams that do not furnish the name of an appraiser who attends training will have to pay an additional $100 fee for registering their team for the tournament and the team will not be eligible for financial support from the region should the team advance from the Regional Tournament. (Typically Mid-Cities has provided some financial support for teams that advance to state and Global Finals.) See the Get Involved Link at the top of the page for more information about appraisers.
- Recruiting a Tournament Helper to represent your team. This is a REQUIREMENT for particpating in the Mid-Cities Regional Tournament. The tournament helper works a 2 hour shift at the Regional tournament and can be a parent of a team member since we will schedule helpers around team performances.
- Completing the online Registration for your team at www.texasdi.org and submitting a completed registration form to your district or school coordinator by the registration deadline.
- Collecting T-Shirt and Pin orders from your team and submitting them to your district or school coordinator by the registration deadline.
- Keep up with team challenge clarifications that may be published from time to time by Destination Imagination Inc.
Destination ImagiNation is the flagship program of Destination Imagination, Inc. Destination ImagiNation is a program that teaches participants important life skills and expands their imaginations through team based, youth centered creative problem solving.
Destination Imagination, Inc. is a non-profit organization that sponsors Destination Imagination and other creative problem solving programs such as DI eXtrme, Rising Stars, Project Outreach and the Construction challenge. Visit the DI website for more information.
To learn more about DI visit the Destination Imagination website. On the menu to the left on the home page, check out the following links.
- Who We Are - the About tab will take you to a description of the program, the challenges and how it all adds up.
- Our Program - This menu option lists the various DI programs. Destination ImagiNation is the flagship program. Other options include Rising Stars (DI for kids in grades K-2). Texas DI supports Destination ImagiNation, Rising Stars, Project Outreach, DI Extreme and the Construction Challenge.
- Challenges - Three tabs give you information about the objectives of the two components of DI and summaries of the 2009-2010 Team Challenges.
DI is a program that you have to experience to really understand. It may help for you to watch some team solution presentation. Visit the Team Solution Videos page of the Destination Imagination Resource WIKI and watch some performances.
- When you get to the Video page click on a year ("2009" for instance).
- A page will open up titled "Videos of Team's Solutions to 2009 Challenges".
- It is easier to understand a team's solution presentation if you have an idea of the requirements of the challenges. At the top of the page you will see a link titled "Synopses of 2009 Challanges". Click on this link and you can read the synopses of the challenges. Read the synopses before selecting one of the challenges to watch. You might find it informative to watch several videos of the same challenge to see the variety of ways teams solve the challenges.
There is no one right answer to this questions. It can depend on how much time you are willing to commit. It can depend on how much your team gets "into" solving the challenge.
Most teams start working in October or November. The Regional Tournament is typically held the end of February or the first of March. Many teams meet for 1 to 2 hours per week when they start. As they move toward a solution, some teams increase their meeting frequency and length of meetings. As it gets closer to the tournament, many teams starting meeting more frequently when they realize how much they have to do to finish their solution.
At a minimum you should plan on
- attending Team Training Sessions. Check out the Team Manager Training link in the menu on the left. There is typically a training session per month to help you with specific aspects of being a Team Manager. New Team Manager training is the longest of these sessions.
- meeting with your team for 2 hours per week at the start. This can be on a weeknight, after school or on the weekend. It depends on what works best for your schedule. Rising Star teams may not meet as long. It depends on the attention span of your team!
- spending (at least at the start) as much time in prep work as the team is meeting (If the team meets for 2 hours then you may spend from 1 to 2 hours getting ready for the meeting). This would include studying the materials, preparing Instant Challenges for the team to practice, gathering supplies that the team has requested.
- attending at least one workshop with the team. Our region typically offers a few workshops for teams covering such things as structure building, technical elements or instant challenge. These typically last about 1/2 day on a Saturday.
- on increasing your meeting freqency and length as it gets closer to tournament. Teams start wanting to meet more often in order to complete their solution.
- If your team advances to the state tournament, the team will continue to meet to improve their solution.
The costs for participating in Destination Imagination in the Mid-Ciites varies widely by school district, by team and by the challenge the team has chosen. Here are the costs that you might anticipate. The numbers in this chart were accurate August, 2015.
|Expense Item||Cost||Additional Comments|
|Membership Fee (this is purchased from www.shopdi.org)||$95.00||This membership MAY be purchased by your school district, school or PTA.
(Early Learners team membership fee is $60)
|Tournament Registration Fee||$75.00||Your school district, school or PTA may pay this for your team.|
|Regional T-shirts||$12.00||Cost per team member. Purchase of T-Shirts is optional. XL shirts and larger cost more.|
|Regional Pins||$3 - $5||Cost per pin. Purchase of a Regional Pin is optional.|
|Team Solution Supplies||$50 - $300||
This varies depending on the challenge. Most challenges have a cost limit. A reasonable rule of thumb is that team may spend twice the cost limit for the challenge. However, a technical team may spend more than this as they construct and discard different possible solutions. It is also possible that a team may take a minimalist approach and solve the challenge with very few purchased materials. (Years ago there was a team that placed well at finals who basically had no costumes and whose only props were a ladder and a plastic flower).
Note that the cost limit only applies to materials that are actually presented as part of the teams solution. A team may build something that costs $30. IF they do not use for their solution it does not count against the cost limit but you have still spent the $30. Other items are exempt items for the cost limit (such as batteries). You spend the money but it doesn't count against the cost limit of the challenge.
The Improv Challenge (Challenge D) has no cost limit as there are no supplies required for the Team Solution.
The Rising Star challenge does not have a cost limit but in Texas we recommend that teams adhere to a $50 cost limit for their solution.
Your school district may offer partial reimbursement of team solution supplies. Check with your district coordinator.
|IC Supplies||$50||This can vary greatly by team. Most ICs require items that are commonly around the house: paper, paperclips, paper plates, duct tape, straws, etc. You can also ask parents to donate specific supplies you need for Instant Challenge.|
|Team Workshops||$15||Per team member. Attendance at workshops is optional for the team. The cost of a workshop varies depending on the type of workshop. Technical workshops generally have higher costs because of the material requirements.|
|Meeting Snacks||?||Serving snacks at a meeting is optional. Many team managers of younger teams find that having a snack helps break up a meeting. You can ask a parent to bring a snack to each meeting to spread the cost between the team members.|
|Travel||?||Other than your vehicle expenses for taking the team around, there are generally no travel expenses associated with the regional tournament.|
|Tournament Day Costs||?||These costs are generally the responsibility of individual families. This would include cost for meals at the tournament or costs for purchases from the tournament DIme store. Teams are given the opportunity at the tournament to pose for and purchase team photos.|
|Expenses if your team advances from the Regional Tournament to the State Tournament.|
|State Tournament Registration Fee||$200||Check with your school to see if they are paying this fee.|
|State T-Shirts||$17||per team member|
|State Pins||$3-$5||per pin. Note that there are several different state pins that team members can purchase.|
|Travel Expense||?||Given the size of Texas, there is a good possibility that the team will have to travel over night to participate in the state tournament. This generally involves transporation and two nights at a hotel. Your school district may pick up part of this expense.|
|Team Solution Supplies||?||A team may decide that it wants to rework part of its solution for the state tournament. The same challenge cost limit still applies but a team may abandon something that have created previously and create something new.|
|Tournament Day Expenses||?||Tournament day expenses for the state tournament are similiar to those of the Regional Tournament.|
While most teams are sponsored by school districts, anyone can form a team. There are always home school based teams that participate in Destination Imagination each year. You need a Team Manager, team members and purchase a membership license at www.shopdi.org. (See other links for more information on forming a team and purchasing a membership.) The biggest challenge that home school based and private school based teams face is the logistics of meetings. Team members on public school based teams are typically in the same geographical area. Many times, team members of home school or private school based teams are scattered over a wider geographical area. This some times makes scheduling meetings more difficult.
The best way to make sure that your child participates on a Destination Imagination team is to agree to be a Team Manager. We typically ALWAYS have more students wanting to participate than we have parents volunteering to be Team Managers.
If you are in one of the participating Mid-Cities public school districts (see Contacts page) you should contact the District coordinator to see if the school your child attends is currently participating in Destination Imagination. The coordinator can put you in touch with someone at the school to assist you. If the school is not currently participating, the coordinator can help you get started in forming a team.
If your child attends a private school and they are listed on the Contacts page as participating in DI then you should contact the coordinator about joining a team at the school. If the school is not currently participating then you should contact the Regional Director about what it would take to start the program at your private school.
If you home school, contact the Regional Director for options. You can always start a Home School based team. SOME school districts MAY allow home schooled children that reside in the district to join a district team.
Before you purchase a team membership make sure you talk to your district or school coordinator. Some school districts purchase memberships for their teams. In other cases, the school PTA may purchase the membership. Make sure you talk to someone before you spend money that you don't need to.
If you have determined that you must purchase your own membership, then you need to go to Shop DI. Once you are on the site you will need to Sign In (the link is typically in the upper right region of the website). If this is your first visit then you will need to follow the instructions to create yourself an account. Once you have created your account you will be returned to the front page. In the upper right portion of the website you will see an icon labeld "Start A Team". This will take you to the catalog to purchase a membership. Rising Star teams purchase a Rising Star membership. Most individuals purchasing a new membership will purchase a "Domestic 1-team Pack". If you are part of a private school or home school group purchasing mutiple memberships, you may need to purchase a "Domestic 5-team Pack." The 5 team pack can offer a substantial discount for individual teams. You CAN use a membership from a 5 team pack for a Rising Stars team if the numbers work out that it is less expensive to purchase a 5 pack and not purchase a separate membership for a Rising Star team. If you are unsure, talk to your coordinator or the Regional Director before purchasing a membership.
The best method to purchase a membership is via credit card because you immediately receive information so that you can download the materials. Payment by check or other methods can delay receipt of the download information.
Note that the memership(s) that you purchase are a license to use the materials. Purchasing a membership does not register you to participate in the local Regional Destination Imagination Tournament. You must follow the tournament registration procedures outlined in this website in order to be registered to participate in the Regional Tournament.
Answer pendng as registration system is being revised.
There are many opportunities for community members to support Destination Imagination in the Mid-Cities region. We need people to serve on our Regional Board, to assist in training teams and team managers, to appraise at our tournament and to work as a helper at our tournament. Select the Get Involved link at the top of the page for more information.
We do not issue a refund for a team if it drops after the team's registration form has been submitted. If there are extraordinary circumstances you may submit a request to the Regional Director through your school district coordinator.