Audience, are you ready? It’s almost time. Appraisers, are you ready? My stomach is full of butterflies. Team, are you ready? Yes! My nervousness disappears as my team and I begin to set up for our performance, singing as we walk onto the stage. All the time and hard work we put into this will finally pay off now. This is our time to shine. What is this? It is Destination Imagination. Destination Imagination is a hands on, educational program for students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade where student teams of up to seven members use teamwork and problem solving skills to solve open-ended challenges. It encourages creativity, imagination, and thinking outside the box. Destination Imagination (or as we call it, DI) is an amazing experience. I have been participating in DI for almost seven years now. Our team has had so much fun working together and creating awesome solutions.
At the beginning of the year, your Destination Imagination team chooses one out of six challenges. Each challenge focuses on a topic: technical, scientific, theatrical, improvisational, structural, or community service. The technical challenge requires students to complete tasks using engineering, research, and other related skills. The scientific challenge, students must blend science and theater together to come up with a creative solution. The theatrical challenge is all about art and acting. The improvisational challenge is where teams receive spontaneous topics and have to produce skits right on the spot. The structural challenge, asks teams to design, build, and test structures that can hold weight and are made from specific materials. Finally, there is Project Outreach, which is where teams address real community issues. Together, you work to find a creative solution to the challenge and create an 8 minute skit to present your idea.
There are three rounds of competition throughout the year. If you get past the Regional Competition, you move on to State, and after State, you move on to Global level, where teams from all around the world gather to show their solutions. Our team has been to Globals four times (we qualified for the fifth time this year) and it is an incredible experience. You have the chance to meet new people from all around the globe. There are fun activities, exhibits, and best of all, pin trading. This is when you get to trade cool, unique pins with other Destination Imagination participants. Of course, you also get the opportunity to see some of the best solutions in the world.
Destination Imagination has played a huge part in my life. It has taught me to problem solve, manage time efficiently, think creatively, be a leader, perform in front of an audience, and much more. I think Destination Imagination is an amazing experience and I would definitely recommend it to all students.
Amy Wang, currently an eighth grader, is a five time qualifier for the Global level of Destination Imagination, a competitive and educational program for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Amy Wang has been a participant of Destination Imagination for 7 years, starting in 2nd grade. She has been with the same team for almost 5 years now, and their team has made it to Global Finals for 5 consecutive years, placing third place two years ago and first last year.