Full Resource Library
DI’s Resource Area is home to all of the Challenge Experience materials. You will need to use the DI login you created when forming your team to access the materials housed here!
Your go-to-guide for what it means to be a Team Manager, how to plan your season, where and how often to schedule meetings, and more!
Rules of the Road
The in-depth ins and outs of DI’s rules, policies, and procedures.
Your team will select one Challenge to tackle each year. Be sure to walk them through the full requirements and scoring criteria for the specific Challenge they select.
Does your team have a question about the Challenge? Submit your question (or Clarification) to DI’s International Challenge Masters (ICMs), and find out if there have been any Published Clarifications for your team’s Challenge!
All the info you need for the Regional and Affiliate tournaments, including Team and Instant Challenge schedules, locations, and more is located on our tournament page.
Going to Globals? Stop by the Global Finals website for registration information, schedules, news and updates, scores, and more.
TEAM MEETINGS & PREP
Need a crash course on DI terminology? Head to the Resource Area where you’ll find a DI Glossary in Rules of the Road, and check out our list of bonus terms below!
Your local DI chapter. This can be a state, province, or, for international participants, a country.
Affiliate Director (AD):
The person(s) in charge of leading an Affiliate. Learn more about our Affiliate Director, Sue Brailey.
Regional Director (RD):
The volunteer who manages your local Region. Learn more about our Regional Directors, Jon Brennan and Josh Diamond.
The incredible volunteers who evaluate your Team and Instant Challenge solutions at tournaments!
Challenge Master (CM):
The lead Appraiser for a Challenge. They are the expert on the guidelines for each Challenge! Regional Challenge Masters (RCMs) oversee the Challenge on a local level, Affiliate Challenge Masters (ACMs) oversee the Challenge on an statewide level, and International Challenge Masters (ICMs) oversee the Challenge on a global level.
The 8 digit number your team receives when purchasing a Team Kit. Your Team Number will be used for all registration information and forms, so keep this handy!
Ensuring team safety is NOT Interfering! Please help monitor your kid’s DI team activities to ensure their safety. This includes teaching students how to use tools safely and practice safe workspace habits such as:
- Appropriate protective gear (such as safety goggles, gloves, shin guards, proper ventilation, and good lighting) should always be used.
- The right tool for the job is always safer than the wrong tool.
- Sharp blades are always safer than dull blades.
- A neat and organized work space is always safer than a messy work space.
Have a younger team? A good rule of thumb is that if a tool is meant to be held with one hand, and the team member needs two hands to hold it, then it’s too heavy for them to use safely. Similarly, if a tool is meant to be held with two hands, and the team member needs help holding it, then it’s too heavy for them to use safely. If it’s not possible for the team to use the tool safely, they will need to find a different way to solve that part of the Challenge.
Remember that being younger should not limit your team too much! We have seen Elementary Level teams learn how to use power tools safely. It’s your job as Team Managers to open up possibilities for kids—with you there to ensure that it happens safely.
Want more safety info? Head to DI’s Resource Area and check your copy of Rules of the Road, Roadmap, and your team’s chosen Challenge.
When reading a Challenge, you'll often see that elements are scored in areas such as Creativity/Originality, Integration, and Teamwork. Here's how to breakdown what they mean:
This means: The item should be innovative, novel, and unique.
How to rock your score: This item should make you go, "Aha! Wow!" Unrelated items should be synthesized to create a new idea.
This means: The item should be a vital, crucial part of your solution.
How to rock your score: The element should be vitally important to the story and the story would be confusing if the element was gone. The item should also work with other items in the Presentation to convey the story.
This means: Your team is effective, efficient, and collaborative.
How to rock your score: Leadership and team roles should be easily identifiable, and diversity of skills should be evident.
When reading a Challenge, you'll often see the terms must/will, may, and may not. These small words are key to solving the Challenge! Have your team read the Challenge and highlight each time these words appear.
This means: Your team is required to include this element.
Example: Your Challenge must take place in the future.
Solution: Your solution has to occur in the future or your team will receive zero points or an Illegal Procedure Deduction for that scoring element.
This means: Your team can choose to include or not include this item.
Example: Your team may use pre-recorded sound effects or live sound effects.
Solution: Your team may decide whether or not to use either pre-recorded sound effects, live sound effects, or both! All are acceptable solutions.
This means: Your team is not permitted to use or do this.
Example: Your team may not use electrical power during the Presentation.
Solution: Your solution cannot contain any electrical power or your team will receive zero points or an Illegal Procedure Deduction for that scoring element.
Understanding the difference between Technical Design and Technical Innovation is a key to success.
Here's how to breakdown what these terms mean:
This means: Is the device functional, effective, efficient, and reliable?
How it's scored: Your device will earn higher marks if it operates as your team intended it to, if it is designed to adequately solve its task, if all of the device's pieces have a meaningful purpose, and if it works every time it is used. If your team's device fails during the Presentation, your scores for this area may be impacted.
This means: Does the device use a new, unique, original, or creative manner to carry out or accomplish a task using Technical Methods?
How it's scored: Your device will earn higher marks if it is designed in an innovative manner or if it uses out-of-the-box methods to complete its desired technical task. If your team's device fails during the Presentation, your scores for this area may be slightly impacted, but your scores will be based more so on the device's core concept as opposed to its reliability.
Team Choice Elements allow teams to showcase their interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents. So how do you rock your Team Choice Element scores? By being specific! Let's use costumes as an example:
One Item vs. All Items Is there one costume your team poured hours of labor into? If you want the Appraisers to focus their attention on this piece, consider listing just this costume as your Team Choice Element, as opposed to listing all costumes. If you list all costumes, Appraisers have to evaluate them as one unit. If you ask to be evaluated on a specific costume(s), Appraisers can focus their attention on the one(s) you love!
Specific Elements Let's say your team made their costumes entirely out of recycled materials, and the use of this material ties into your Presentation on climate change. In your Tournament Data Form, you can ask the Appraisers to specifically evaluate your use of reusable materials! Being specific in what elements of your TCE should be scored will help the Appraisers give you as many points as they can!
Regional & Affiliate Tournaments
Tournament day has arrived! Here’s what to expect:
Head to the Registration Table to check-in and receive any important tournament information. Unload your team’s solution to their designated Prop Zone.
20 minutes before your scheduled Presentation time, move your solution from the Prop Zone to the Prep Area. A Prep Appraiser will get your team ready for their Presentation! Make sure to give your Tournament Date Forms, Expense Report, and one copy of the Declaration of Independence to your Prep Appraiser.
The Engineering Challenge will have a separate Structure Check-In time. Structure Check-In is usually an hour before your scheduled Presentation time, but make sure to check the Challenge and tournament day schedule for specific instructions.
20 minutes before your scheduled Instant Challenge time, report to Instant Challenge Check-In. Make sure to note the instructions about quiet zones so that teams solving their Instant Challenges are not disturbed! Once checked in, wait until your team is called.
Raw Scores & Sticky Notes:
About 30 minutes after your Presentation, your team’s Raw Scores and Sticky Notes will be available for pick-up at your Challenge Site by 1 Team Manager and 1 Team Member. More on Raw Scoring below!
After all teams have presented, join us for a Closing Celebration where we will announce top-placing teams and special awards.
There are a few traditions you’ll see at our Regional and Affiliate Tournaments. We hope you’ll join in the fun!
Teams from the same school, district, or organization will typically wear matching shirts. Check with your sponsoring organization for purchasing info. If you are an independent team, we encourage you to get creative and design your own custom team shirts!
Team, are you ready?!:
Before your team presents their solution, the Timekeeper/Announcer will ask three questions:
- “Audience, are you ready?!”
- “Appraisers, are you ready?!” (Warning: Be prepared to hear a cheesy joke or pun!)
- And finally, “Team, are you ready?!”
Many teams will prepare a creative response when the Timekeeper/Announcer asks “Team, are you ready?!”—so have fun with it!
Many teams will end their solution by incorporating TIME as the last word they say. This is definitely not required, but can be a fun addition!
Each season, every Affiliate designs a unique set of pins. Teams can purchase these pins to trade with other teams! At the tournament, stop by our sales table to purchase this year’s pin or mystery bags of vintage pins from both New York and across the world. Let the trading begin!
When your team receives their Raw Scores, you will also receive a page of Sticky Notes where each Appraiser shares what they loved about your team’s solution.
#RockYourScore by learning the ins and outs of scoring! Central Challenges, Team Choice Elements, and Instant Challenges all have multiple sections where teams can earn points. Have your team identify which areas are worth the most points, which are worth the least points, and what each element is scored on. Make sure your team also identifies which scores are subjective and which are objective.
At a tournament you’ll receive two sets of scores: Raw Scores (initial, unscaled scores) and your Scaled Scores (final, adjusted scores). Head to Rules of the Road in the Resource Area to learn the difference between these scores and how to interpret them.
In addition to honoring our highest ranking teams, Destination Imagination grants four special awards to honor exceptional solutions, teamwork, and Service Learning projects.
For Outstanding Creativity
The paths we follow on our journeys were once uncharted and unknown—until someone took a bold step in a new direction and paved a way for us to follow. To solve our Challenges, imagination, creativity, originality, and courage are required. We honor those individuals and teams who most clearly demonstrate that spirit of adventurous risk in their solutions—those who most creatively traveled to reach truly new and unique destinations. The DaVinci Award is named to honor one of humanity’s greatest creative thinkers, Leonardo Da Vinci.
For Outstanding Design, Engineering, Execution, or Performance
On our journey, we sometimes encounter exceptional travelers who entertain and enlighten us along the way. The Renaissance Award recognizes those among us who demonstrate extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation in their solutions or outstanding skill in engineering, design, or performance. While the destination is creativity, these fellow travelers make the journey itself memorable.
Spirit of Discovery & Imagination Award
For Outstanding Spirit, Teamwork, Volunteerism, or Sportsmanship
This award is given in recognition of those who act as superior role models in the areas of spirit, teamwork, sportsmanship, or volunteerism.
For Outstanding Service Learning Projects
This award honors teams and/or individuals whose solutions have an extraordinary impact in and beyond their local communities.
Arrival & Departure:
While this depends on the distance you are traveling and your budget, many teams stay overnight in a local hotel so that the team is well rested and ready to perform early in the day! Since the Closing Celebration is in the early evening, some teams also chose to extend their stay through the weekend and some depart promptly after. Please note there is a mandatory (but brief!) meeting following the Closing Celebration for teams that have qualified for Global Finals.
Transportation & Parking:
Your team may choose to rent a bus or drive in personal vehicles to the Affiliate Tournament depending on your schedule, budget, and/or school and organizational needs and requirements. Keep an eye on your email for parking information from your Affiliate Tournament Director or Regional Director.
We are usually able to negotiate reduced hotel rates through the Visitors Bureau—your Affiliate Tournament Director or Regional Director will be in touch with more information! You may also consider using AirBnb or VRBO to rent your own space. Please keep in mind that you will be responsible for transportation between your lodging and the tournament site.
You will be able to purchase lunch at the Affiliate Tournament, but teams should make their own plans for breakfast and dinner!
Your team was just called to the podium at the Affiliate Tournament Closing Celebration and qualified Global Finals… now what?!
- Collect your medals and your Global Finals info packet.
- Head to the Champ Pack table (more info on that below!) to pick-up your Global Finals t-shirts and pins.
- For Team Managers: Following the Closing Celebration, attend our very important (but brief!) meeting for teams advancing to Global Finals.
- Be on the lookout for an email from Destination Imagination, Inc. with information on how to register for Global Finals, including housing and meal plan purchase.
- Check globalfinals.org for regular updates and make sure to subscribe to their newsletter!
Before you head to Globals, you’ll need your official Team New York gear! Teams that advance to Global Finals will receive a Team New York Champ Pack, which includes:
Team New York Shirt:
This is our official uniform that you’ll rock at the Global Finals’ Welcome Ceremony and Closing Celebration!
New York Pins:
In addition to Challenges, Pin Trading is the social glue which binds teams from all around the world together at Global Finals. Get ready to make friends from across the globe!
Keep up to date with all the latest Global Finals news by visiting globalfinals.org. This site houses the registration portal, schedule, pricing and financial aid logistics, and more!
Make sure to check globalfinals.org for important information about shipping deadlines and addresses.
There are a few different ways you can get your solution to Global Finals. It may be worthwhile to reach out to other teams and other school districts to see if it makes sense to combine efforts!
Rent a Truck and Drive:
Most solutions will fit on a 15' truck, and you won’t need to worry about weight! On the other hand, you will need a few volunteers and should plan to pay for a motel room, some meals, and gas, as well as a return flight or rental car.
Hire a Moving Company:
If you have a large number of teams, large props, or can arrange for multiple teams across different schools or organizations to share shipping, this is a good option! There are several long-distance moving companies that can be found online and that will provide free quotes. Just explain to them your situation, and they should be able to tell you what they can do!
This is a flat rate freight service with two pallet-sized boxes:
- 48” x 40”
- 28” x 30”
Either can have a maximum weight of 1200lbs. The small box comes with a carton and a pre-attached pallet. The larger box comes with the carton, but you have to supply a pallet in good condition. Transit time is about 1 week, but is not guaranteed… so leave time!
UPS or FedEx Ground:
If your solution is not too heavy or bulky, UPS or FedEx Ground shipping may be an option!
If your solution is FAA/TSA compliant and is well packed, this is a cost effective way to transport some materials, especially tools! Checked baggage is usually only cost effective for the first bag, or second if the traveller has status on the airline.