Submitted by Bedford Destination Imagination
Does your child want to spend this winter working with friends to create something awesome? Maybe designing a pinball machine, researching ancient civilizations, or pretending to be a sea creature. How about creating a kinetic sculpture, or a beanbag launching device? Bedford Destination Imagination is forming new teams for the upcoming season.
Last year, more than 15,000 students across the US participated in Destination Imagination, including approximately 100 Bedford students on 15 teams ranging from Grades 1 through 11. The Destination Challenge Experience encourages students to explore their passions, discover their talents and abilities, and learn new skills.
DI is a project-based extracurricular program that teaches kids the creative process with an emphasis on teamwork, originality, and problem-solving. In working to solve DI Challenges, teams learn 21st-century skills (creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication) by using individual talents and interests to create something entirely new as a team.
What exactly do the kids do?
At the beginning of the season, teams select a challenge from an array of choices such as Fine Arts, Engineering, Science, or Technology (except Rising Star teams, Grade 2, who have only one challenge option). These challenges require children to stretch their creativity as they research and design a solution that must be presented in a short skit (up to eight minutes).
The DI season begins as early as September, but many (most) teams do not start until October or November, and some don’t begin until January. Students are matched into teams of up to seven students in or close to their grade level in the fall and work together all winter on solving the problems of their selected challenge. Over the course of the season, children begin by brainstorming ideas for a possible solution and doing research into technical and artistic aspects of their project. Then they build, paint, design, write, sew, and CREATE.
Over the course of the season, kids learn about time management, resource management, and the design process while teaching themselves things they never knew they could learn how to do.
Solutions are presented at a regional tournament in March to a panel of appraisers and an audience of family, friends, and other DI-ers. Everything presented at a tournament is created only by the kids themselves.
How Are Teams Formed?
- Friends can join DI together and form a new team.
- We can help students find a team, or help form a team if a student doesn’t know anyone else who has signed up.
- Current DI Students often reform their team each year with the same students. Sometimes everyone comes back, sometimes not.
- Current teams with less than seven students can choose to bring in new team members (and often do).
- Teams on occasion split into two teams, or join to form one team or have a member move from one team to another.
- Students need to convince a couple of their parents to co-manage a team because the program is a 100 percent volunteer organization, and there are no teams if there are no team managers.
“My student is interested! How can I learn more?”
Bedford MADI will be holding an information session at Lane School at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday Sept. 27. People can also check the new and improved website at www.bedfordmadi.org or find us in our booth at Bedford Day, and we will be happy to tell you more.
If you think your child is interested in finding or forming a team, please visit online to complete a registration form. Registration is open now until Sunday, Oct. 1. New teams will be formed by Sunday, Oct. 15 and be up and running by November for this year’s creative adventure.
To find out more about this year’s challenges, please visit https://www.destinationimagination.org/challenge-experience/challenge-previews/