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Creativity News - Volume 7, Number 8 (04/27/2014)


Montana Teams Bound for Global Finals

Eleven teams took 1st place at the Montana Affiliate finals.  Four Montana teams from Bigfork, Manhattan and Bozeman will be heading to Knoxville, Tennessee the week of May 20-24, to compete with over 1300 teams from around the globe for top honors. To learn more about Global Finals and follow our teams during the week-long event, check out the Global Finals website.

Need a Break from Testing?

Students are currently being assessed with the new Smarter Balanced test. All of these tests are done on the computer.  While the students do not seem to have any problem adjusting to this new format, the tests still are draining mentally and physically. 

How can you help your child or students overcome this burnout?  Try using Instant Challenges to liven up the day. Instant Challenges help introduce students a variety of ways to evaluate problems. Students need to de-stress to help them relax and re-focus.  By participating in teams to solve Instant Challenges, they have the opportunity to work with others in a fun and challenging setting.

Instant Challenges will give students the opportunity to work collaboratively and provide a variety of means to stimulate their thinking skills. They may have an emphasis on STEM, Fine Arts, or both.

Instant Challenges are quick and use common materials.  They can be used to introduce a unit or assess whether students are able to apply concepts introduced in the current unit.  You can do an internet search for Instant Challenges or you can purchase a set from Destination Imagination at ShopDI.


Challenges for 2014-2015

Technical: Creature Feature

The world is yours. The choice is yours. Take action! Find your creature and begin the great adventure!

Scientific: Making Waves

Hey, slow it down! NO, wait, speed it up! At this rate, how will your incredible sound machine EVER produce sounds?

Structural: Lose to Win

Remove the weight and transform your thinking. Sometimes, you have to Lose to Win.

Fine Arts: Feary Tales

Phobophobia is the fear of being afraid. The question is: What are you afraid of? Anything is possible in your team’s Feary Tale.  

Improvisational: The Improv Games

With street performance as your tool, may the odds be ever in your favor… in The Improv Games.

Service Learning / Project Outreach®: Brand Aid

Round up your team and identify a community need. Once you piece the puzzle together, you will unlock the world of Brand Aid.

Early Learning / Rising Stars! ®: Animal Mish Mash

With a little bit of this and a little bit of that, you’ll mix together two animals and give it the perfect new habitat! Doesn’t it sound like a ROAR-ing good time?

Expanded previews with points of interest can be found on the Destination Imagination website.


MTDI Facebook Page

Pictures from the Affiliate tournament, March 22, have been posted on the MTDI Facebook page.  Also watch for information about Global Finals and challenges from National Geographic and Einstein in a Box. Please like the MTDI page at

Recent MTDI Events

MTDI lead Instant Challenge practice sessions at Chief Joseph Middle School in Bozeman on April 22 and 24.  These were short sessions during their PACE time.

On April 25-27, the Montana National Guard hosted a Youth Symposium for children of deployed guardsmen.  During this weekend event the participants had the opportunity to solve some Instant Challenges and play some of the Think Fun problem solving Big Games.

If you would like to host a short informational session at your school, contact MTDI for ideas and strategies.

College Scholarships

This year the MTDI scholarships was awarded to Andrew Honken from Frenchtown. The scholarship is funded by Student Assistance Foundation of Montana.

Information and application forms for the MTDI scholarship can be found on the MTDI website.  The MTDI scholarship requires the applicant to submit a tool to help promote DI or help teams and team managers work on a DI skill. Contact MTDI to learn more about how to apply for a scholarship.


Thank your Supporters

1) Make sure your school will be ready for DI next year. - If the school pays for your team pack apply for next year's materials now.

2) Get your team together and replenish the commonly used Instant Challenge supplies - straws, paperclips, toothpicks, etc.  

3) Plan for the fall "Taste of DI" event now.

4) Determine who will be the DI coordinator next year.

Team Building Activity: 


  • Bring a 50-piece puzzle and divide the pieces from into small bags - one for each team member.
  • Ask each team member to pick a bag of puzzle pieces. Explain that they are going to put a puzzle together with their teammates, but they have to follow instructions closely:
  • For the first 2 minutes, they should begin putting their puzzle pieces together by alternating turns. They are not allowed to talk or touch one another's pieces.
  • For the next 2 minutes, they should continue taking turns putting pieces in without talking, but they may begin touching one another's pieces.
  • Finally, they will have 5 minutes to finish putting the puzzle together in any way they would like. Talking will be permitted during the last 5 minutes.
  • After the final 5 minutes, stop the puzzle making. Ask participants for observations and feedback. Deliver the message that we often find ourselves doing things in isolation without involving one another.
  • When we involve one another, using all of the pieces and communicating in many different ways, we have a greater chance for successful completion of a project.

Instant Challenge:

Trash Tells a Story

Challenge: Your challenge is to use the objects you are given to create a PRESENTATION about a group of people.

Time: You will have 5 minutes to use your imagination to create the STORY, and 2 minutes to give your PRESENTATION to the Appraisers.

The Scene: Your team members are famous garbologists. A garbologist is someone who studies people and their culture by looking at what those people have thrown away. The objects you have been given represent what has been found as buried garbage. Prepare a presentation showing who these people were, where they lived, and what they were like. Give your presentation to the Appraisers.


1 plastic container and lid, 1 paper sack,

1 twist tie, 1 gum wrapper, aluminum foil,

1 envelope, 1 paper tube

Scoring: You will receive

A. Up to 25 points for the creative description of the people and culture

B. Up to 25 points for how you incorporate the objects in your description

C. Up to 25 points for the creativity of your performance

D. Up to 25 points for how well your team works together

Used with permission from Students for a Creative Iowa.

Date Published: 
Sun, 04/27/2014