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Creativity News - Volume 7, Number 2 (10/05/2013)


Frequently Asked Questions about Starting DI

  • What are the challenges for this year?

    Here is the link to this year's Challenge Previews.

  • When and Where are the Tournaments?

     Regional tournaments will be at the end of February and beginning of March.  The Affiliate Finals will be March 22, 2014 at Manhattan.  Since tournaments are held in public schools, specific dates and locations will be announced in mid October.

  • What is the time commitment per week for the students?A two hour meeting per week is the average. Rising Stars teams may cut that back to 1½ hours. As tournament time approaches, the team may decide they need to add more time or divide duties to be performed at home.
  • What is the time commitment for the Team Manager?Besides meeting time, Team Managers (TMs) need to stay one step ahead so that the meeting can run smoothly.  It starts with Team Manager training. TMs should plan for 1-2 Instant Challenges per week with supplies. A way to cut the amount of hours that each Team Manager spends outside meetings is to have 2 Team Managers. 
  • When does the program start and end?The recommended minimum time to prepare for tournament is 6 - 8 weeks. Every year, we hear Team Managers say, “Next year, we’ll start earlier.” It takes time for teams to get to know each other and to learn each others’ personal creative strategies. Adding few weeks of team building and Instant Challenge practice before introducing the challenge pays off as tournament time approaches.
  • What do solutions look like?Destination Imagination encourages teams to show something unique so it is always interesting to see what a team brings to tournament if they have never seen a DI performance. That said, most teams’ don’t have that kind of risk-taking comfort.  Thank heavens for YouTube! Go to  and search on Destination Imagination. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of performances. Your teams will see everything from basic to elaborate performances. Just make sure you don’t mistake glitz for a creative solution. Many performances solve their challenge with simple elegance!

It is easy to start a DI team! Go to Start A Team to learn more about how to enroll. Once you are enrolled, we will help you every step on your way to your first competition. Don’t delay because the first events starts in early October.

Spooktacular Creativity Nights

Montana DI is hosting creative problem solving events for students to experience DI in October.  There are still a few openings at each of the events so download the registration form for the event in your area at the MTDI website. Elementary students will work to solve up to five Instant Challenges at Creaturz Cache.  The Zombie Apocalypse is for middle school students in Bozeman and Belgrade and in Darby the Apocalypse will be a lock-in event for grades 6-12.

New Free Instant Challenge Resource

Sometimes team managers are not aware of how to explain to their teams the different properties of materials they may encounter in an Instant Challenge.  To help everyone have a better grasp on how you can use some of those common materials, DI has provided you with information on Properties of Materials. Check it out and download the free Properties of Materials Cards. Make sure you also check out the many resources: blogs, videos, and tools; for teams and team managers at the Destination Imagination website.

Alumni Spotlight

Danny Luwe is working on establishing his career as an actor and voice over artist in Chicago. Before moving to Chicago Danny toured nationally with the Montana Repertory Theatre and Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. He currently acts on stage with various theatre companies across Chicago.  When not acting he works for a collector of miniature Asian arts.

Danny says DI taught him a variety of important skills that he uses on a daily basis. The two most essential are the ability to be flexible and quickly solve unexpected problems that can arise in any situation. The other is being able to effectively communicate and collaborate as part of a group composed of other creative artists.

He encourages students to participate in DI since it develops and stretches so many areas of the mind; especially creativity and problem solving. He uses these skills on a daily basis and credits much of his success to the personal development DI provided. He said his team managers would tell them that like a rubber band, the brain can be stretched to unimaginable lengths. DI was an important tool for challenging and expanding his mind.

Working as part of a team is what Danny enjoyed most about DI. He discovered that individual ideas were strengthened by the unique background, experiences, and skills each person brought to the team. He especially enjoyed the friendship, support, and great memories that came along with being part of a team.    

We like to spotlight Montana Alum.  Their stories help tell the DI story! Send us your stories about MTDI alum.

Rules Spotlight

Starting a team may seem daunting but it is easier than it looks.1. Determine your team(s). A team consists of 2-7 students. Just remember only 7 students can contribute to the solution even if one of them drops before tournament. Tournament levels are:Rising Stars: Kindergarten – 2nd grades.Elementary : 3rd – 5th gradesMiddle: 6th-8th gradesSecondary: 9th-12th gradesTeams may include students in more than one level but the team must compete at the level of the oldest team member.  Teams usually consist of students that are close to the same age.2. Purchase your team pack(s). Decide how many teams and at which levels. Then contact Montana DI to determine the most cost effective way to purchase your team pack.  Once ordered you will get instant access to materials.  Your printed team materials will be shipped in 1-2 weeks.3. Let us know that your teams are ready to start. Call Heather Geiger at 406-285-3777 so your Team Managers will be put on communication lists to receive newsletter and any special information as they work toward tournament.  We will also contact each of your Team Managers personally to make sure they are moving comfortably forward with their teams.  For more information on how to ensure success of the Destination Imagination program in your school, contact Heather Geiger 406-285-3777. 

Team Building Activity: 

TOUCH MY CANObject: all the team members are to make physical contact with an empty pop  can without making physical contact with one another.One person's nose must be touching the can. Hair more than 4 inches from the head, does not count as a point of contact.

Instant Challenge:

Edible Vehicle: Challenge: Construct a vehicle in 3 minutes. Test drive the vehicle down the ramp. Materials: 8 lifesavers, 10 pretzel sticks (butter braids), 10 large marshmallows, ramp, and 4 Oreo cookies. Score: 

  • 10 points for the first 4 inches the vehicle rolled.
  • 5 points for each additional inch.
  • up to 20 points for creative use of materials
  • up to 20 points for teamwork

Relax and eat your creation. 

Date Published: 
Sat, 10/05/2013