This is a sample presentation to pitch a DI program to a PTA or similar organization.


Josh Diamond – NYDI Eastern Regional Director – [email protected] 

  • My background: Software Engineer and consultant, when not doing Destination Imagination
  • Involved in DI since 2006, when my son Max started in the program, as a 5th grader doing our Improv Challenge
  • My wife, Zhanna, was the Team Manager – but DI seemed rather abstract and confusing to me until the team reached the NY State Finals – and then I was hooked!
  • Huge breakthroughs for Max in his confidence, in how he interacted with his peers, and in what he could achieve.
  • It is now 9 years later, and both Max and and my younger son, N’yoma, have competed at Global Finals (Max 4 times, and N’yoma three times).
  • I have moved from confused parent to Team Manager, on to Croton DI coordinator, and then onto the NYDI board first as Webmaster, and now as Eastern Regional Director.

Audience Survey:

  • Who is here?  Adminstration / Teachers / Parents / etc.?
  • What do you already know about Destination Imagination?

Introductory Video:

How it Works:

  • Question: What does the typical Elementary or Middle school classroom look like?
    • Sage on a stage?
    • More interactive?
    • Differentiated instruction for each student, or perhaps for identified groups of students?
  • Who has ownership of the student’s learning?  The student, or the instructor?
  • Flipped Classroom concept: Student learn content using books, video, or other interactive tools at home, and then receive personalized feedback and assistance from the teacher in the classroom.
    • Instead of flipping how time is used, Destination Imagination flips the role of teacher vs. student.
    • Students are all given a fixed task to accomplish
    • We do not specify much detail about which tools or techniques should be used to accomplish the task…
    • …but each Challenge is designed with a set of “points of interest” – or learning outcomes – in mind.
    • Kids want to solve the challenge – so they seek out sources for the required skills or knowledge needed to succeed.
    • Team Managers don’t instruct or direct – they faciliate the operation of the team, and support the team in finding skills training when they request it
  • End results:
    • Students are engaged in learning in a fundamentally different way – driven not by external standards, but by their own imagination brought forth to solve the challenge.
    • Students have ownership of the process
    • The teams success is wholly their own

The Components:

  • The Challenges:
    • Team Challenge:
      • Central Challenge
        • A long form problem to be solved over the course of 5-7 months, created by Destination Imagination.
        • 7 types: Techincal, Fine Arts, Scientific, Improvisation, Structural, Service Learning, and Rising Stars (Early Learning)
        • Regardless of type, every Challenge has a “story” component, which is part of the team’s presentation
        • Each challenge has a well-defined maximum budget for items used in the actual presentation
      • Team Choice Elements – Team-selected add-ons to the Central Challenge which allow them to show off their unique skills, workmanship, etc.
    • Instant Challenge – A short form problem presented to the team and solved within about 8 minutes.
      • Types: Task Based, Performance, or Hybrid
  • Training:
    • Team Manager Training
    • I/C Fiesta
  • NYDI Tournaments – Where teams come to show off their solutions, and receive feedback and recognition for excellence
  • Global Finals – Destination Imagination’s international tournament – the “olympics” of Creative Problem Solving

Let’s Solve An Instant Challenge:

  • Knock It Off: Task Based
  • Mix Up in the Factory: Hybrid
  • Tower or Bridge: Task Based

Let’s Watch a Performance Video:


The Logistics:

  • Program Materials:
    • Published each year in mid-summer
    • Includes:
      • All 7 Challenges
      • Rules of the Road – the detailed rules governing the program
      • Roadmap – a guide for Team Managers, includes sample Instant Challenges, meeting plans, scheduling guide, etc.
  • Teams:
    • Usually form in the early fall, or sometimes late summer
    • Competitive teams may have no more than 7 members per team.
    • There are no limitations on Rising Stars teams
    • Five levels of competition: Rising Stars, Elementary, Middle, Secondary and University
    • Each team must have at least one adult Team Manager
    • There are no limitations on how teams are sponsored – tell us how you want to do it, and we will support you!
  • Team Managers:
    • No pre-requisites other than participating in our Team Manager Training program
    • Sometimes Team Managers are teachers…
    • …but mostly Team Managers are just parents who care about bringing this program to the kids!

What Does it Cost and How Do We Pay For It:

  • Basic cost per team is to be $430 for the 2018-19 program year.
    • Included:
      • Team Manager Training and Mentoring Program
      • Instant Challenge Fiesta (in January)
      • NYDI Eastern Regional Tournament registration
      • NY Affiliate Finals registration – if invited
    • Not included:
      • The cost of materials needed to solve the Challenge (note overall out-of-pocket expense will probably exceed the defined Challenge budget).
      • Lodging at tournaments
  • Global Finals is a separate cost:
    • Held in Kansas City, Missouri (May 2019)
    • Registration cost is approximately $700 per attendee – for team members, managers, and spectators alike 
    • Team is responsible for transportation costs to Knoxville
    • Start your fundraising in September if you expect to attend Global Finals!

Sign Post Icon

Up for a fun challenge? Join us!