Affiliate News

Welcome To Illinois Destination Imagination for 2015-2016!

The new DI year is almost upon us. Team Members, parents, and volunteers are all excited to see what this season's Challenges will be! Your teams will be able to register starting July 20th. Visit the Start a Team page for more info by clicking on this link:

The previews are up and the full Challenges will be released on September 1st, 2015.  The Illinois DI board is lining up the tournament sites and dates, and additonal information will be added to the calendar as it becomes available. Watch for Team Manager trainings and Team skills workshops!

New to DI? The main Destination Imagination website is full of information and videos to give you a great overview of the program and how it will enhance any child's education.

Here is an introduction to this fabulous problem based learning program from the main DI website....

What is Destination Imagination?

Destination Imagination (DI) is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.

In working to solve our Challenges, teams learn 21st century skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship and courage), step outside of their comfort zones to pursue ideas and make presentations, and build on their unique strengths. Up to 7 members can be on a team, and students from kindergarten through university level participate. Students have fun and gain confidence in their ability to solve any challenge.

DI fosters students’ curiosity, courage and creativity as they solve the Challenges together as a team. Each team needs an adult Team Manager who helps students stay on track but does not directly help the team develop its solution to the DI Challenge. Team Managers are often faculty members or parents, but any adult over 18 may be a Team Manager.

The DI season takes place from September through May. Each team purchases a team number and receives all of the complete Challenges and supporting materials to successfully implement the program. Depending on the Challenge, teams typically spend 2 to 4 months devising and practicing their Team Challenge solutions. Each year the new Challenges are developed by a team of educators and industry experts who target a particular area of the curriculum and its related standards of content and performance: Technical, Scientific, Structural, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning, and Early Learning.

Each Team Challenge is open-ended and enables students to learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation while fostering their creativity, courage and curiosity. Teams also spend time working on ways to solve Instant Challenges, which help them further develop their problem based learning skills and working within a time budget of only minutes!

A big part of our program is the Interference policy: in short, kids have to imagine, create and develop solutions on their own. Parents, Team Managers, family and friends can’t suggest ideas or force teams in certain directions. Outsiders can only facilitate the acquisition of skills and knowledge.

After weeks spent creating and developing their solutions, they go to a local tournament. There they present their solution to their chosen Team Challenge and also in a top secret Instant Challenge, revealed only to the teams on the day of the tournament. The highest scoring teams advance to their state or country tournament, also known as an Affiliate Tournament. The top tier teams from each Affiliate Tournament have the opportunity to participate in Global Finals—the world’s largest celebration of creativity.

While most schools run DI as an after school program, some school districts incorporate the program into their electives curriculum. Teams may also form through PTA/PTOs, community, religious, social groups or on their own.  Our volunteer run and staffed tournaments provide the opportunity for participants to celebrate creativity with their peers and promote healthy competition.

For more information about DI, please visit our main DI website

Jan Darnell and Diana Dignan, Co-Affiliate Directors

and The ILDI Affiliate Board