- Published: 25 November 2000 25 November 2000
IC, Improv, Balsa Issue
Visit our Website at: http://bfn.org/~nyom
Suggested Goals for First 5 Meetings
first meeting- with parents and students
· Meet with parents and students to fully explain the program & types of problems, EMPHASIZE that being on a DI team means a commitment from both parents and team members!
· Review general rules and Destination Imagination Philosophy
· Discuss Interference rules and ask team members to police this themselves. Usually team members will want the challenge solution to be THEIRS and theirs alone! They are the best ones to reprimand parents, Team Managers, friends etc. from breaking the rules.
· Discuss students and parents goals and expectations. Why do you want to be DI team member? is a good discussion starter. This is a good time to discuss the difference between ‘winning’ and ‘succeeding’…you many find yourself repeating this at every meeting!
· Have team members and parents read & sign a contract. Point out parental responsibilities and restrictions
· Ask for parent volunteers to help with transportation, refreshments, or as resource people.
second meeting - (team members only from this point on)
· Discuss the pros & cons of working as a group
· Explain how all ideas must be considered and not judged
· Explain Instant Challenges and brainstorming, practice a few!
· Have team read and discuss the various Team Challenges. Remind team members that all Destination Imagination Challenges offer opportunities for construction, performance, music, special effects, etc.
· Make a list of special skills and strengths of the team. Decide what skills must be learned to solve the various problems. Do an “interest inventory” with team members, have them make a list of “things I’m good at, Things I don’t like to do, and Things another team member is good at”. Consider using the “Specialties Inventory Tool” in the Team Managers Guide.
· Try to narrow down Team Challenge choices for the next meeting
third meeting - Note…new teams might need more meetings to reach this point…or less!
· Have team decide on a Team Challenge & brainstorm solution and theme ideas
· Encourage kids to visualize their solutions & to compromise their ideas with others
· Have the team narrow their ideas down to their 3 favorite ideas
· Elaborate on each of the 3 favorite ideas
· Select ONE idea from the 3 to be their final solution theme
· Practice Instant Challenge solving
fourth meeting -
· Brainstorm a list of tasks necessary to complete solution
· Team Manager and team should devise a timeline for task completion
· Make a list of necessary materials
· Make a list of skills needed to complete the solution and how to learn them
· Set up a schedule of field trips, shopping trips and necessary research to be done
· Practice Instant Challenges
· Make a master calendar of your timeline, tasks, and field trips, assign a team member(s) to each task
fifth meeting -
· Begin accomplishing tasks
· Practice Instant Challenges
Instant Challenge Tips!
Instant Challenge always plays a big part in determining champions at a DI tournament, every Team Manager should be starting every team meeting with Instant Challenge training. Our lending library has literally hundreds of Instant Challenges you can use with your teams, contact Dee Urban to borrow items from the library. Here are some tips you might not have tried:
1. Play charades with your team. It helps the team members learn to communicate non-verbally with one another.
2. Consider using commercial games like “Scattergories” “Pictionary” “Outburst” “Password” and “Taboo” with your teams. These are great games to increase your teams’ ability to brainstorm, fluency, and flexibility.
3. Place any unusual object you can find (look in your basement, garage and junk drawer for things you don’t even recognize!) in front of your team and ask your team to tell you what the object is and how it can be used.
Remember to work with your teams on a variety of different kinds of Instant Challenges. There are three main types of challenge your team may encounter in the IC room, verbal, hands-on, and a combination verbal-hands-on challenges. The strategies your team should use with each of these challenges are different and they need practice in all varieties.
While parents need to be cautioned from assisting in the solution of the Team Challenge, IC is an area where parents can and should be enlisted to assist the Team Manager. Hold a parents meeting, actually tackle a couple of different kinds of Instant Challenges with the parents and then ask them to practice ICs with their children on car trips, over the dinner table or whenever they can. Recommend brainstorming games (like the one’s listed above) to parents as a great family activity and a way that they can be involved with no fear of interference!
About Instant Challenge Practice:
Instant Challenges demand that teams think creatively on the spot, without a great deal of time to think or ponder. Practicing IC teaches the team basic methods they can use to come up with divergent solutions to any problem. These brainstorming skills can be used not only on competition day, but in many problem-solving situations that require divergent solutions. Experience with these skills is required in order to effectively solve these challenges during competition. More importantly IC can be lots of fun!
What is an Instant Challenge?
The Instant Challenge presentation is a chance for your team to show off its creative problem solving skills in a short, unrehearsed presentation to officials.
At our tournament teams report to a separate competition area and are escorted to a room where officials will give the team a new challenge to solve. Only the team, one team manager, and officials are allowed in this room…no audience is present! The challenges are 3 to 10 minutes in length and worth up to 100 points (25% of total possible score). Each team that competes in a specific Team Challenge at a specific competition level will receive the same Instant Challenge. It is very important to keep the challenge a secret after your team has competed. You may discuss it privately among yourselves but you will be disqualified if you are overheard discussing it on competition day. Teams should not discuss challenges publicly after the tournament because regional and affiliate finals use the same challenges.
Three types of Instant Challenges:
Verbal challenges involve acting out situations. Teams are scored on the creativity of the character development, on the creativity of the situation or story line and on how well they team works together to create the scene. Props may be involved by the team is not scored on the creative use of a prop. Often Verbal challenges will require a team to improvise a skit for a given situation.
In a hands-on challenge the team is given materials and must move, build, change or protect objects. The team is scored on how well they work together to design the solution and the creativity of the final product. Team members may be allowed to talk to each other while designing the solution but would not be scored on verbal creativity.
The team is given materials and asked to use those materials to create a situation. The team is scored on the creativity of the situation or story line, character development, creative use of materials and teamwork.
Instant Challenge & Improv Tips
¨ Speak loudly and clearly
¨ Listen to instructions carefully. Ask questions if the instructions are not clear.
¨ Know where the points are and direct your solution to gaining points.
¨ Listen to your teammates when doing Improv. Relax and go with the flow!
¨ Don't make unnecessary long speeches. Give everyone a chance to add to the solution.
¨ Practice giving everyone a part. Making up a skit where team members play scenery sometimes demonstrates teamwork better than using props or only strong performers.
¨ Practice talking yourself out of a jam when your mind goes blank.
¨ Practice saving a teammate who cannot think of a line or reaction.
¨ Practice using exaggerated movements and expressions.
¨ Make up your own improv games that include different criteria for scoring. Have the team members practice judging.
¨ Never argue with an official or argue with a teammate in front of an official…teamwork is a scored skill!
Some Sample Instant Challenges
Verbal 1 - The DI Kennel Club has determined that humans can communicate with dogs as long as we use language they can understand. Your challenge is to create a two-minute performance to entertain dogs. You may only communicate in ways that dogs would understand; no human language is permitted. During the skit, you must communicate four emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. You will have five minutes to plan and two minutes to perform. You will be judged on creativity of the skit and use of language, teamwork, and the creativity and effectiveness of the presentation of each emotion.
2 - Take turns completing the following phrase with sound effects continuously for three minutes; no planning time or one minute (2 different versions). "In the city, you hear. In the country, you hear." Alternate description of similar challenge: Your team's challenge is to produce country and city sounds. One team member will name a Country sound, the next will produce it, etc.
Scored on creativity (30) ,teamwork (30), humor(20), number of responses.
3 - Your team members are a group of mountain climbers on Mount Everest. Suddenly, a storm blows up and you find yourselves in a whiteout. Your task is to devise a method, using as many of your eight invisible props as you can, to get the entire team back to your base camp. You have four minutes to plan and three minutes to present your solution.
30 pts. Teamwork
20 pts. Creativity
10 pts. Humor
5 pts. For each invisible prop used (possible 40 max.)
Invisible props: Hammer; Mousetrap; Bell; Broom; Firecracker; Rope; Fishing Reel; Umbrella.
4 - Write, sing, and perform an opera. Must include setting, conflict, resolution, funny character, character who caused conflict, character who resolved problem
Non-Verbal 1 - Materials: Kiddie pool filled with water; medium fishing bob; 2 paper cups; several straws; 2 pencils; sticky labels; paper clips; nails used as weights
Challenge: To build a device that would float and keep the fishing bob as high off the water as possible. As soon as the bob went into the water or touched the sides of the pool, the challenge was over.
20 pts. For creative use of materials
20 pts. For teamwork
scored also on whether item floated, how high off the water the bob was, and how much weight the device held before sinking, flipping, or touching the sides of the pool
2 - Using materials given (aluminum foil, scissors, paper, etc.) the team will design a solution to dropping colored marbles (4 or 6 each or green, blue, red) into buckets of corresponding colors.
The marbles must be passed through either end of a large PVC pipe (between 4 and 8 feet long, 15 to 18" diameter) before dropping into the buckets. The team must assign all members to one side or the other of the pipe and may not change sides. There were strips of tape on the floor aligned with the ends of the PVC over which no body part of team members could extend. The buckets were taped to the floor in a somewhat diagonal line.
The PVC pipe had 6 to 8 large intermittent 10-15" circles cut out on all sides and was propped with either end supported by black plastic cradles on top of moveable black library-type footstools. The pipe could be lifted up from the stools and moved anywhere as long as the team stayed behind the line.
5 minutes to plan; 2 or 3 minutes to present. No talking during presentation.
Materials included tin foil, sticky labels, straw, cotton swabs, and typing paper.
Some Practice Improvs
Have team members act out the following:
Frog eating insects
Carrying a very heavy box
Washing a car
Monkey eating a banana
Witch brewing up a potion
Painting a portrait
Leaf falling from a tree
Decorating a Christmas tree
Sailor steering a ship in a storm
Carving a jack-o-lantern
Arranging flowers in a vase
Winning a gold medal at the Olympics
Eating an ice cream cone on a hot day
Being "it" in a game of hide-and-seek
Squirrel gathering nuts
Building a snowman
Blowing bubblegum bubbles
Digging a hole a finding a treasure chest
Cat stalking a mouse
Climbing a tree
Tasting food for the king when it's been poisoned
Eating at a restaurant and realizing there's a celebrity at the next table
Bird flying south for the winter
Prospector panning for gold
Holding up a stagecoach
T-Rex chasing down its prey
Walking down a sidewalk and stepping into fresh cement
Bobbing for apples
Kid misbehaving when the teacher's back is turned
Surfer wiping out on a big wave
Trying on a new suit or dress
Having a food fight
Packing a suitcase
Collecting treasure from the Titanic
Searching for Big Foot
Getting a manicure from Austin Powers
Catching snowflakes on your tongue
A bear waking from a winters nap
Barney jumping rope
Playing the World Cup
Being chased by a skunk
Following a rainbow
A bear looking for honey
A witch flying on her broom
Signing the Declaration of Independence
Playing mud football
Attending volleyball camp
A dog chasing a cat
Baking Christmas cookies
Dyeing Easter Eggs
A girl scout selling cookies
G.I. Joe rescuing Barbie
Sewing the American Flag
Visiting the Grand Canyon
Watching a scary movie
Meeting Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road
Babysitting Dennis the Menace
Eating a lemon
Playing basketball against Michael Jordan
Playing soccer against Mia Hamm
Climbing Mount Everest
A penguin looking for Santa
Winning the lottery
A caterpillar changing into a butterfly
Riding a bull
Getting a shot at the doctor's office
A bird eating a fish
A turkey the day before Thanksgiving
Playing checkers with Barney
Looking for your shoes
Walking a tightrope at the circus
Playing volleyball against the Backstreet Boys
Trying out for the Spice Girls
Styling Ricky Martin's hair
Baking a cake
Trying on a bathing suit
Feeding a baby his carrots
Working at the drive through at MacDonald's
Dancing in a ballet recital
Leaving the hair salon with a REALLY bad haircut
Shooting an apple off someone's head with an arrow.
Performing in the musical Sound of Music
Climbing a mountain
Setting all the clocks in a clock shop
Shopping in a toy store
Climbing the Eiffel Tower
Having dinner with Chelsea Clinton
Wrapping a present
Swimming with sharks
Helping Wile E Coyote beat the Road Runner
Playing with dolphins
Tweety escaping Sylvester
Playing Tetris against Brittany Spears
Eating spaghetti and meatballs
Helping the tooth fairy gather teeth
Interviewing for a job on Dawson Creek
Building an igloo
Beating Tiger Woods in golf
Exploring your grandmother's attic
Playing chess with Abraham Lincoln
Doing a commercial for a brand new toothpaste
Making dinner for George Washington
Attending a comedy club
A deer hiding from a hunter
Running the last mile of a marathon
Taking a test you didn't study for
Riding on an elephant in Africa
A tiger at the circus
Trying to light a campfire
Eating jelly donuts
Hunting for Easter Eggs
Modeling for the cover of a magazine
Flying a kite
Decorating a wedding cake
Learning how to ride a bike
Celebrating New Year's Eve with the Barney
Dancing with Cinderella at the Ball
Cutting an onion
Reading a very boring book
Picking bananas with a monkey
Making a banana split
Taking the 101 Dalmatians for a walk
Shopping with the Teletubbie, Dipsy
Trying on a new pair of high-heeled shoes
Spotlight on Triplicity!
Many teams are intrigued by the Triplicity Challenge, but afraid to give it a chance. This article is meant to help teams and Team Managers get started with structure building. The resources contributing to this article are many, I thank them for their tips, suggestions, and ideas.
The very best hands-on experiment I’ve heard to illustrate buckling was to take the "foam noodles" kids take into pools and cut them into various lengths. The kids could then push down on each and feel how much weight it would support. Since the noodles were made out of the same material and had the same diameter, this made it quite clear that the length of the column had a profound impact on how much it could support. -
Another demonstration that seemed to make a strong impression was to take a long board and put one end on a bathroom scale and the other on the floor. I had one of the kids stand on the scale to see his weight and then asked everyone to guess what the scale would read if he stood in the middle of the board (half way between the scale and the end supported by the floor). I was amazed that most of the guesses had the scale showing MORE than his original weight (so much for this all being intuitive). Anyway, after a few experiments, they seemed to have a much better grasp of how a load is distributed between the supports.
Balsa Pages on the Internet
Balsa Wood Bridges:
Safety Tips for Balsa Teams!
When working with glue, accelerator, or acetone, remember that they are toxic and hazardous materials, and follow the guidelines and precautions. It is easy to become complacent, as the hazard is not immediately obvious. Safe use of these materials requires that they always be handled with care and respect.
Work in a well-ventilated area. Keep sources of flame and sparks well away from the work area.
This includes not only the obvious things, like ranges, furnaces, fireplaces, cigarettes, and candles, but also the less obvious, such as pilot lights on gas appliances, and electric motors commonly found in power tools and appliances.
Keep food and drink away from the work area.
Always wash hands after working with glue materials. Keep glue, accelerator, and acetone away from the eyes. Safety glasses are recommended. Avoid rubbing the eyes, and keep the hands away from the face, while working with these materials.
Keep all materials and tools out of reach of younger children.
The surfaces to be glued should be clean, smooth, and flat. The cyanoacrylate (CA) glues can only fill a gap of a few thousandths of an inch with any significant strength. The surfaces to be glued should fit together smoothly, evenly, and tightly.
Rough surfaces do not glue well, and will tend to be weak. This is one of the reasons that the end surface of a piece of balsa will not glue well to another surface, and this type of joint should be avoided in the design if possible.
Sand surfaces carefully with fine sandpaper prior to gluing to remove fuzz or roughness. Be careful to keep the surfaces flat, and to avoid rounding them while sanding.
Gluing the surfaces:
Accelerator is used with CA glues because otherwise the setting time depends greatly upon the chemical properties of the materials being glued, and may vary considerably. The accelerator bottle should be kept, used, and stored away from the glue bottles. Using accelerator too near the glue bottles can lead to hardening of the glue in the bottle top (or even the glue in the bottle itself).
The recommended method for using accelerator is to apply it lightly to one of the surfaces to be joined, and allow it to dry. Glue is then applied to the other surface, they are brought together and aligned, and firm pressure is applied to press the two surfaces together until the glue has set (usually about 10 to 30 seconds).
The thicker grade of glue takes longer to set, and may be used if a longer period of time is required for alignment.
If accelerator is present on the surface to which the glue is applied, it may cause the glue to begin setting immediately. This may cause a poor joint, as the glue may set along the surface before the pieces have been brought together and positioned. Therefore it is important to plan your work well, keep track of where accelerator is applied, and to avoid spraying it on pieces where it is not intended. Accelerator should be used lightly; only a little is needed.
After the glue in a joint is set, it may still require up to several hours before it has reached full strength.
When building an assembly using a jig or fixture, keep the assembly in the jig until it has been completed. Removing, handling, and replacing a partially built assembly can exert considerable stress on the joints, and they may be damaged or weakened. This is especially true at those stages during assembly when there are long pieces which are only glued at one end. Due to the leverage involved, a slight touch on the piece can put considerable force on the joint holding it.
Removal of glue:
The CA glue can be removed by using acetone, as is found in fingernail polish remover. There is also a product called Un-Cure, which will remove the glue, and is more effective for removing the glue from skin.
Caution: These products are highly flammable, and should be used only in a well-ventilated area well away from sources of flame or sparks. Acetone in particular will evaporate rapidly, and the vapors are also very highly flammable.
After a period of use, glue may begin to accumulate on the outside of the glue bottle cap, or it may begin to clog on the inside of the tip. It is useful to have a second set of glue bottle tops. (Hobby shops which sell the glue will usually also sell extra bottle tops and caps separately.) The clogged top can then be removed (use pliers if necessary) and dropped into a jar of acetone, and the spare bottle top is placed onto the bottle of glue. When the clogged top is removed from the glue bottle, place it immediately into acetone. Letting it set out will allow the glue on the inside of the tip to harden further, and will make it more difficult to remove. Also do not leave the glue bottle uncapped for any significant period of time. The jar of acetone must also be kept tightly capped.
If a clogged bottle top is left in a jar of acetone overnight or for several days, the glue may then be easily removed. Fingernail polish remover will soften the glue so that it may be scraped and removed. Industrial strength acetone will completely dissolve the glue, and little additional scraping will be necessary. Safety pins or straightened paper clips are useful for removing softened glue from the inside of bottle caps.
If glue is spilled on skin, rapid setting may also produce significant heat, which can cause a burn on the skin. Use care to avoid getting glue or accelerator on skin.
If unplanned objects are inadvertently glued to the structure (including skin, jigs, etc.), Un-Cure or fingernail polish remover may be applied to loosen the glue and remove the objects. Note that if these solvents are spilled or applied to any of the structure joints, those joints will be significantly weakened.
Tips from experienced teams on buying balsa:
There are several grades of balsa wood, each having certain characteristics helpful to the structure builder. There is a four-page discussion of the various grades and qualities of balsa wood available fro SIG (see below). Be very careful when buying wood to make sure you are getting BALSA, there are woods that have a similar look to the inexperienced eye. If you are buying from a retail store, ask the clerk to explain the difference and demonstrate tests team members can perform to assure they are getting balsa. If the clerk cannot show you the tests, be very cautious about the wood you buy!
Balsa does vary from about 2lb/cubic foot to about 6lb/cubic foot depending on where it’s cut from the tree and how dense the tree is. Any number of books about building model airplanes go into more detail about this than I can remember. I recommend the 629 (Dewey Decimal System) area of your public library. It will have more than one how-to book on building balsa wood airplanes and a discussion of density and grain (Light, Medium and Heavy are recognizable, and grain alignments A, B and C.)
Because of inconsistencies in weight and the lack of uniformity in any supplier's stock, the pieces used by the team should be carefully selected…but without outside assistance!
•Make sure that you are buying balsa and not basswood, which may look nearly identical but is illegal to use in DI. Both should be clearly labeled. Basswood is heavier and smoother than balsa, whereas balsa is lighter and has open pores. Some suppliers may also carry spruce, which is even heavier and stiffer than basswood and is darker in color.
•Borrow model-airplane books from the library for information on density, grain and grades of balsa. Also, consult magazines such as American Modeler. Toys Galore, a hobby and toy store, distributes a fact sheet on balsa.
•Balsa is available at hobby stores, but one coach recommends buying "select" grade by mail order at 1-800-BALSA-US. You must purchase in bulk from this supplier, but the cost per piece will be less than if you buy smaller amounts at the hobby store. Your order should arrive within five working days.
Here are some sources of balsa wood:
SIG Balsa Wood
401 Front Street
Montezuma, IA 50171
Clovis, CA 93612
Phone: 209-292-WOOD (9663)
P.O. Box 663
2895 Estates Ave.
Pinole, CA 94564
Superior Aircraft Materials
12020-G Centralia Ave.
Hawaiian Gardens, CA 90716
You can specify "grades" A through D and they will hand pick wood that weighs within that grade range. Grades are:
A - 2.0 - 2.4
B - 2.5 - 3.0
C - 3.0 - 4.0
D - 4.0
Books on Balsa:
Building and Flying Indoor Model Airplanes, by Ron Williams
Fireside, Simon and Shuster, 1981
Structures, Fundamental Theory and Behavior, by Richard M. Gutkowski.
Most of the book is very mathematical and beyond most DI groups, but the end of chapter 2 has a good discussion on stability and bracing, with diagrams.
ORDER YOUR 2000-2001
CHALLENGE LOGO PINS
These pins will make GREAT stocking stuffers for any team member!
Start Thinking about Appraisers!
We require that each membership provide the name, address and telephone number(s) of at least one potential appraiser/judge for each two teams it sends into REGIONAL competition. This assures our judging team is representative of our association. You will be asked to provide this information on your team registration form (team registration forms will be included in the December 2000 Newsletter).
This year our WESTERN REGION Destination Imagination Competition is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 2001. Check with your Regional Director for Regional requirements regarding appraisers in your area.
In the past, the role of appraiser during the competition has contributed greatly to the overall success of the event. Your experience is invaluable. I am inviting you to appraise one of the challenges at this year's tournament. The Team Challenge Synopsis can be accessed at our website at www.bfn.org/~nyom As always, Instant Challenges cannot be revealed until the day of the competition.
Please fill out the enclosed "Appraiser Preference Form" and return it to me as soon as possible, but not later than 1/15/01 so I may send out appraising team assignments and the complete challenge in advance of our appraiser training scheduled for February 3, 2001, at the Orchard Park District Office, 3330 Baker Road, Orchard Park, New York from 8:00am – 1:00 pm. It is essential that all appraisers be properly certified for their particular challenge and therefore appraiser training is mandatory. It is my hope that this session is convenient for you. Your attendance will insure personal confidence, as well as competent appraisal.
If you are interested in serving as a Head appraiser for our Tournament, or also appraising at our State Tournament please check the appropriate box on the Appraiser Response Form. The responsibilities of the Head Appraiser/Challenge Master will be assisting in the training of regional appraisers at our 2/3/01 training, assisting in set-up of the tournament site before the competition, and acting as appraisal team leader on the day of the competition. I urge you to consider this critical role.
We are always in need of new appraisers, please feel free to copy this article and the Appraiser Response form included with this newsletter along with the Team Challenge Synopsis on our website and pass them on to anyone who might be interested in judging. Please call me at (716) 675-7566 if I can be of any help or assistance to you, I thank you in advance for your support in this exciting event!
Appraiser Response Form click here!
This year we will once again be offering Team Cheers! in our Western Region & State Tournament programs……and hopefully help your team raise a little money for an end of year party! A Team Cheers! is an ad wishing a team, school, team member, coach, judge, or district good luck. Here's the way it works…
Each 1/8 page (2" x 2.25") ad costs $10 (team keeps $5)
¼ page (2" x 5") costs $20 (team keeps $10)
½ page (4" x 5") costs $40 (team keeps $20)
Full page (8" x 5") costs $80 (team keeps $40)
Your team sells the ads to parents, teachers, administrators, PTOs, local businesses and keeps half the money raised. The other half (in a check made payable to "BOCES2") along with the text for the ad is forwarded to the Affiliate Director at the address listed below no later than February 15, 2001 for inclusion in our WesternRegional tournament program. No later than March 15, 2001 for inclusion in our State Tournament program
I hope this will be a successful fundraiser for your team. Please use (and duplicate) the form enclosed with this letter to take ads. Send all your Western Region & State Tournament ads to the Affiliate Director at the address below, in one envelope along with a check made payable to "BOCES 2".
Sample ads might look like this:
Roller Coaster Builders!!
Your PTO is
behind you all the way!
Roberts High School:
GO FOR IT!
Roberts High Faculty Assoc.
Mary and the Pasta Makers from Smith Middle School:
These guys really COOK!
Please use the form on the back of this newsletter to place your order. While the deadline for TEAM CHEERS! is not until 2/15/01 (Western Region) or 3/15/02 (State Tournament) please make an effort to submit your ad early!
Click here for TEAM CHEER ORDER FORM!