U of T Destination Imagination
Destination Imagination (DI) is the world’s largest creativity and problem solving competition. DI is made up of two components: the central challenge and the instant challenge. Each year, six central challenges are issued, combining in varying degrees the following six main themes: technical design, fine arts, structural/architectural design, scientific research, service learning, and improvisation. The central challenges are prepared by teams prior to the competition date. In addition to the major components of the central challenges, teams are able to highlight their unique talents and skills through marked components called Team Choice Elements, which allow the team to create, perform or design anything they desire. The instant challenge component tests the ability of teams to think on their feet and create quick solutions to problems. Unlike the central challenge, that is prepared prior to the competition, the instant challenge is given to the team during a short time frame at the tournament. The intent of U of T DI is to accomplish the following: 1) To allow students to compete in official local and international Destination Imagination tournaments. 2) To provide students with an outlet to develop their creative problem solving skills, primarily through the areas of technical design, structural/architectural design, theatre arts and improvisation. 3) To develop students skills in technical design, structural/architectural design, scientific inquiry, research, fine arts, music, theatre arts and improvisation. 4) To provide students a means to develop their interpersonal skills and teamwork through team challenges and designed activities. 5) To enable students to reach out to the community, to act in leadership positions and to develop their public speaking skills. This will be accomplished primarily through workshops and presentations delivered to high school and elementary level students, as well as mentorship of high school and elementary level students and volunteering at local tournaments. 6) To create global leaders by providing students with an international experience where they can discover an appreciation for various cultures and styles through competition. The DI program allows students to develop their creativity and problem solving skills while honing the techniques and skills learnt in class. Students are able to develop their social skills through the team atmosphere of the competition, while, at the same time, gaining hands- on experience in a full design process. Students are able to gain life and work experience through approaching a problem in an engineering manner, while balancing various other non-technical design criteria. It further allows students to enhance their Skule™ experience by integrating theatre, improvisation, structural and technical design in an innovative and unique way. Student Skill Development The founding members of the organization have competed at the Provincial level for the past 10 years and have qualified for International competition 8 of those years. Through mentorship, new team members learn construction and design techniques as well as how to use various tools and materials. Students gain experience in a wide variety of fields ranging from improvisational techniques and public speaking to electrical circuitry and structural design. Students are encouraged to develop their skills and increase their knowledge base in order to best address problems they might encounter both through competition and in real life scenarios. Furthermore, the competition has a ‘no interference’ policy, which means team members must develop their solution completely independently, pushing them to solve these problems on their own. Students Develop as Global Citizens and Leaders The elementary and high school mentorship aspect allows team members to hone their public speaking skills, develop their leadership skills and prepares them for future leadership positions. Moreover, the team environment of the competition helps teach students co-operation and teamwork, two traits which are critical to success in any employment. The International aspect of the competition exposes students to various cultures and their correlation with design, creativity, problem solving, teamwork and leadership. The International competition allows students to develop relationships with employers, students and various other likeminded individuals worldwide.