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Creativity News - Volume 9, Number 1 (09/04/2015)


Survey on the Shifting of Students' Perception of STEM

In an effort to learn how students perceive STEM careers, Destination Imagination has partnered with National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) and the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity and Educational Research Center of America (ERCA) on a research project that will focus on how high school students perceive STEM Careers.

Montana DI is encouraging high school educators to register to receive the results package. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Send an email to and make sure “STEM Career Survey” is in the subject line.
  • Watch your inbox during the back-to-school season for a package from The Research Consortium on STEM Career Pathways.

Start A Team Kits

In an effort to recruit more teams, Montana DI has prepared Start A Team Informational Kits. These kits contain everything you need to tell parents and students about DI and encourage them to form teams. Each kit includes Frequently Asked Questions, Challenge Summaries, Start A Team Flyer, brochures, instructions on how to host an informational night, an Instant Challenge, and a presentation slide show.

If you would like to start DI at your school, please contact Montana DI at

Selecting a Team

The first major task is to form teams.  This can be done a variety of ways, but must ultimately be compatible with the philosophy of the school’s or organization’s administration. Destination Imagination believes that in order to provide a diverse talent base and to develop an appreciation of everyone’s abilities the opportunity should be available to all students, not just a select few. Teams can be recruited through a variety of options:

  • classroom observation and tryouts
  • grade level or all school tryouts
  • team manager selection
  • teacher recommendation
  • self-selection (team forms and then recruits a Team Manager.

The selection process often includes the completion of an Instant Challenge or warm-up challenges. Tryouts can be scheduled after school on a one-time or multiple-time basis. Challenges should incorporate both performance and task-based dimensions. When recruiting from a large pool of students, make sure you have the commitment of enough Team Managers for more than one team. Determine your criteria ahead of time to expedite and substantiate the process.  It is not uncommon for teams to remain relatively intact from year to year. This decision should be honored if DIers feel that team performance is improved through their continuance.

First-time Team Mangers may wish to recruit a diversity of team members with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • artistic/musical/dramatic talent
  • ability to construct
  • scientific knowledge
  • cooperation
  • quick thinking (an asset in spontaneous practice)
  • divergent/creative thinking
  • risk taking
  • self-confidence
  • leadership/organization skills (possible team captain?)

Remember that the DI process can build these characteristics in its participants. Many successful team members may not be successful students; they may possess highly developed problem solving abilities and talents that are not exhibited at the classroom level. More experienced Team Managers may consider team members who may not perform consistently.

ALL team members should possess the following characteristics:

  • commitment to and respect for the team
  • commitment to completing the problem solution

Tournament Dates and Team Registration Deadlines:

While many teams are just forming, MTDI is already working hard to find appraisers and plan for the tournaments.

The following are the tournament dates:

  • Regional Tournaments: February 20, 27, or March 5 Exact Dates and Locations are to be determined.
  • State Tournament: April 2 - Dillon Middle School

As soon as your team forms register you team and its volunteer appraiser. This will make sure all Team Managers are informed of trainings and workshops. If you register by December 15 you qualify for the Early Bird Discount fee of $25 which saves you 50% on your tournament registration fee. After December 15th the fee will be $50 per team.

Register your team at the MTDI website. You will need to create a log-in to be able to register your team(s).

MTDI Scholarship

Each year Montana Destination Imagination budgets to award two $500 scholarships to Montana students who have participated for at least 2 years in Destination Imagination. The scholarships are awarded to a high school senior and a student currently pursuing a post-secondary degree. If you think you know students who will be eligible for this scholarship please encourage them to look at the topics on the scholarship page on the MTDI website. Send us the contact information for these students so we can also remind them about the scholarship.


Your team must have a unique Team Number. A Team Number allows your team to compete in sanctioned tournaments and/or to use the Destination Imagination Team Challenges as well as the support and curriculum materials for educational demonstrations within your school or organization. To participate in a sanctioned tournament, your team must hold a valid 2015-16 Team Number.

1. When your team is registered with Destination Imagination, Inc., you will be assigned a unique Team Number. You may also choose a team name.

2. Your Team Number has two sets of numbers and looks like this: XXX-YYYYY. The first three digits of your Team Number (XXX) identify your Affiliate. All teams from Montana would have numbers that begin with 126. The next five numbers (YYYYY) identify your team. Each team will have a different number.

Team Building Activity: Sneak a Peek

Purpose: Teach participants how to problem solve in a group and communicate effectively.

Materials: 3 - 4 sets of building blocks (Legos).

Before team arrives build a small sculpture with some of the building blocks and hide it from the group. Divide the participants into small teams of 3 or 4. Each team should be given enough building material so that they can duplicate the structure. Place the original sculpture in an area that is an equal distance from all groups but hidden from view (inside a box). At the same time, each team sends one member up to look at the sculpture for 10 seconds and try to memorize it before returning to his team. After they return to their teams, they have 25 seconds to instruct their teams about how to build an exact replica of the instructor’s sculpture. After one minute of trying to recreate the sculpture, another member from each team can come up for a “sneak a peek” before returning to their team and trying to recreate the sculpture. Continue in this pattern until one of the team’s successfully duplicates the original sculpture.

Instant Challenge: Windy City

Challenge: Your task is to BUILD a freestanding tower that is strong enough to withstand wind power. Time: You will have 4 minutes to build a freestanding tower, 1 minute to finish it, and 15 seconds to test its strength against wind power.

Set-up: On a table are materials for building your tower. There is a taped square on the floor where you will build the tower. There is also a fan that will blow air toward the tower.

Part 1 (4 minutes): For the purposes of this Challenge, a FREESTANDING TOWER is a structure than stands by itself using the provided materials without being supported by other structures. Build your tower for both height and strength inside the taped square. You may not tape the structure to the floor. If your tower measures at least six inches by the end of Part 1, you will earn 10 points.

Part 2 (1 minute): You may continue to build during Part 2. At the end of Part 2, or earlier if you tell the Appraisers you are “Finished” or say “Time,” The Appraisers will measure the height of your structure for score before and after the fan is turned on. After the first measurement the Appraisers will turn on the fan for 15 seconds.

Materials: • 50 round cards • 1 mailing label

Scoring: Your team will receive

A. 10 points for building a tower by the end of Part 1 that stands at least 6 inches tall

B. 10 points for building a tower that doesn’t lose any of its cards after 15 sec. of wind power

C. 2 points (40 points max) for every inch of tower height after 15 seconds of wind power

D. Up to 20 points for creative use of materials

E. Up to 20 points for teamwork.

Developed by Students for a Creative Iowa,

Date Published: 
Fri, 09/04/2015