A PROBLEM-SOLVING COMPETITION
How it Works
Teams develop solutions to project-based STEAM challenges and then present their solutions live at tournaments.
DI Challenges are open-ended, allowing teams to express themselves creatively and take full ownership of their solutions. Challenges are designed to teach the creative process - a system of learning that is at the root of innovation and a child's ability to bring an idea to life.
DI Challenges take on two distinct formats: Team Challenges and Instant Challenges
Each team selects one Team Challenge requiring a solution that will be presented at the tournament. Team Challenges encourage students to explore their passions, discover their unique talents and abilities, and learn new skills. Team Challenges are available in the following categories:
- Fine Arts,
- Service Learning,
- and Early Learning.
Although each Challenge has a specific educational focus, they are multi-disciplinary and cross-curricular (i.e., the Fine Arts Challenge will have a technical element and the Engineering Challenge will have an artistic or storytelling component.)
Watch a video of one team's Challenge solution
A DI team is a group of between 2 and 7 members that work together to develop a solution for a Team Challenge. Teams design and create 100% of their Team Challenge solution. No interference from non-team members is allowed. Teams are formed based on their grade or age and are designated as non-competitive Early Learning (K-2) or the competitive Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Levels.
Instant Challenges are quick creative and critical-thinking exercises that build teamwork and reinforce problem-solving skills like rapid ideation and implementation. Instant Challenges can be task-based, performance-based, or a combination of both. All teams practice
Instant Challenges during the season and are given one at the tournament.
Watch a video of an Instant Challenge
BECOMING A TEAM MANAGER
Becoming a DI Team Manager can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will have as an adult volunteer. You get to witness the growth of your team and the amazing solutions they develop firsthand. Along the way, you learn how to build teams, teach creative problem solving and form lasting relationships with your team members and other adult volunteers.
“Unlike any other organization I’ve come across, I see that DI teaches extremely valuable real-world skills that will give my kids and the kids on my team a major head-start in life. They don’t get these valuable skills in school and very few other organizations are effective at teaching and encouraging them. More than ever, the engine of our economy is “American Ingenuity” and I want my kids to enter the working world with strong skills in this area. Being part of DI is very satisfying – and worth my time. I’ve developed a much deeper and more meaningful relationship with my kids (and other DI team members) through DI. DI has prompted some great “kitchen table” discussions with my kids on very practical real-world issues. It’s also allowed me to play a major increased role in their lives and in their development that I know they value.”-Scott Dalgleish
What Skills Do I Need to be a Team Manager?
- Enjoy working with children
- Ability to believe that team members can solve the problem
- Tolerance of student’s work styles and pacing
How Do I Learn to be a Team Manager?
- As a Team Manager, you will receive the following:
Challenge materials include a Roadmap outlining your first 16 team meetings
- Team Manager training
- Webinar training
- Access to:
- District DI Coordinator Jessica Bobbs
- Regional Director Tanya Shimonek
- Regional Challenge Masters for challenge-specific questions
How Much Time Do I Need for DI?
Most Team Managers start mid to late fall. The average Team Manager meets once a week for 1 to 3 hours (depending on the age of the team members), and as the tournament approaches, the team may decide to add additional practice time. The time requirement may also vary by the Challenge chosen, and the competitive ambitions of the team. Teams that place in their Regional Tournament have the option to advance to the State Tournament in April. Teams that place at State have the option to advance to Global Finals at the end of May.