Ohio Destination Imagination
Important News from DIHQ

Students! Earn Your Fundamentals of Project Management Badge

By: Kris Beisel

By participating in Destination Imagination (DI), students learn valuable project management skills. Did you know that these skills are highly sought after in the workplace, and even on college campuses?

For a limited time, our friends at PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) are offering 250 Destination Imagination students (grades 7-12) the opportunity to document their knowledge and skills by earning a Fundamentals of Project Management digital badge at NO COST. The badge complies with Mozilla Open Badge standards, making it easy to share and easily verified by potential employers or colleges.

To take the exam, students will need an adult (Team Manager or teacher) to monitor them while they are taking the test. The test is given online, so students will need access to a computer and the internet. If you are interested earning a badge that demonstrates to future employers and college recruiters the project management skills you have learned through Destination Imagination, find an adult who is willing to monitor the test for you and have them contact Kris Beisel at kbeisel@dihq.org to set up your exam access.

The 50 question, 1-hour test will test your knowledge of project management and will use the language of the Project Management Institute. The following subjects will be covered by this exam:

  • Project Stakeholder Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Human Resources Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Score Management
  • Project Integration Management
  • Process Groups
  • Project Management Foundational Knowledge

All of that may sound more intense that what you learned in Destination Imagination, but DI participants experience and lead the project management process as they work through the Challenges. You do a part of the project management process at every meeting!

To ensure that you have a strong understanding of the vocabulary and to prepare for the exam, you will want to review Destination Imagination’s Roadmap resource (your Team Manager has a copy) and PMIEF’s Project Management Skills for Life® resource (available in the Learning Resources Library at www.pmief.org. Please note that you may need to create an account to gain access to the document.

Grab your Team Manager or teacher and a few of your friends and earn your badge!

Instant Challenge Practice Ideas

By: Annie Rabach, Team Manager, DI Wisconsin

Instant Challenge. Hmmm. Where to begin? I struggled with how to begin this article, but then it came to me. Much like Instant Challenge – just jump in!

There are so many things I have tried to make Instant Challenge (IC) work for my teams, I could type for hours. Some things I’ve tried were an instant success. Other things I’ve had to try over and over until they finally worked. Some things were such a horrible failure right from the start that I ditched them forever. Every year is different, even if you have the same kids. Age, experience and what goes on outside of Destination Imagination can influence the mojo of a team. Just like life, you have to deal with it.

Bottom line, you have to practice IC… a lot. As a Team Manager (TM), it is really hard to give up valuable practice time when you don’t see a finished product. It is even harder when you see a lower than expected score at a competition. You may think, “Why did we waste so much time?”  No time is ever wasted when you challenge kids to think on their feet and force them to work together in a short amount of time. If you have genuinely practiced, and the competition challenge was difficult, imagine how brutal it was for teams that didn’t practice.

What to practice? Well, obviously DI ICs. In addition to the Roadmap resource, you can access different ICs in the Free Resources Library by pasting this URL into your browser https://www.destinationimagination.org/challenge-program/resource-library/ on DI’s site or download the Instant Challenge Practice Set in the Resource Area You can also ask your coordinator, Regional Director or your Affiliate Director for help. I have even asked my team members to do some research and bring them to practice.

ALL types of ICs need to be practiced; not just the ones your kids are good at. My kids have always been on Engineering teams, and don’t do as well with the Performance-Based Challenges; yet Performance-Based Challenges have been presented at competition. Practicing these types of Instant Challenges makes it significantly less scary. Right before a competition, make sure you throw them a few Challenges where they will surely succeed. It will boost their confidence, and that is huge when walking into the real thing.

Practice ICs, as if it were the real thing, all of the time. Have the team practice entering the room and behaving like they should during a competition. It becomes a habit. My kids also practice ‘liking each other’ for the 10 minutes they are in that room. (Everyone has grumpy day.) Appraisers can tell when someone is not connecting with the rest of the group. They probably can tell when it is forced, but at least the team is making an effort.

How do you get them to ‘like each other?’ First off, we rarely practice IC without the entire team. Everyone has a role and understands its importance. Get the team to realize that without a specific team member, and their contribution, the solution won’t be as amazing. Teambuilding challenges will also help your kids to ‘like each other.’ A plus is that these challenges don’t require a ton of prep time, and I consider them as IC practice. (Google “teambuilding challenges” and you will have plenty to choose from.)

Just practicing the IC is not enough. We have one TM as the Appraiser, and I typically observe. Both TMs take notes. After the Challenge is over, the Appraiser TM scores and asks, “How’d we do?” The kids will then analyze their solution and teamwork. The Appraiser TM then points out their low and high points. If I have anything to add, I do. Every Challenge is honest, but includes a positive and a negative point. The notes are saved for later follow-up.

This follow-up occurs a week or more later. The team will redo the same Challenge. Have they retained what they learned? Have they fallen back into their old ways? Usually, they have improved since the first attempt. Sadly, sometimes it doesn’t work that way. When that happens, it is more than likely that something is not clicking with the kids’ personalities, and a chat has to take place. It isn’t comfortable, but it’s effective in making the team work together.

I like to toss in a few mindbender challenges that I know will showcase different team members’ strengths—frame games, eyeball benders and following directions quizzes. We have also played listening games where I will read directions and the team members have to draw what they hear… or what they think they hear. This has been an excellent lesson in listening to what the IC is asking for and enforcing how everyone hears and thinks differently.

Between seasons, I am a researching fool. I look for fun games and exercises to help my kids.  Once the season begins, I have a good pile of activities to do, while secretly teaching the kids something about IC, teamwork and themselves. I keep these quick challenges handy for times when I want to torture them… I mean when we have extra time.

My last tidbit of advice is that no matter how much you practice, some teams just can’t solve the challenge on competition day. Practice what to do when that happens. How will they score the teamwork points? How will they mask their disappointment and continue on? It’s hard.  Help them by practicing some aspect of IC at every practice.

Good luck this season!

November 10, 2016

Project Management Survey: Show Us What You Know!

By: Kris Beisel

Calling all Destination Imagination team members and Team Managers!

Destination Imagination has received a grant from the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) to learn about the skills you gained by being a Destination Imagination team member or Team Manager… and we know you have learned a lot!

This survey will help further our efforts in gathering data that allows us to more accurately evaluate our program’s impact on students and Team Managers who participate in Destination Imagination. The survey is brief and will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

If you are a DI team member, click here to take the survey for team members.

If you are a Team Manager, you can complete our Team Manager survey here.

At the end of the survey, you may be asked if you want to continue on to an informational survey about your career plans. This part of the survey is optional but will help our strategic partner, the Educational Research Council of America, understand student and adult perceptions regarding science, technology, engineering and math education and careers.

If you have questions concerning the survey, please contact Kris Beisel at kbeisel@dihq.org. We appreciate your support and thank you in advance for participating!

The Alumni Ambassador Council

Attention Alumni!

The Alumni Ambassador Council (AAC) is seeking new membership to fill vacant seats on the Council!

Has Destination Imagination been a major part of your life? Would you like to give back to the program in a way that fosters alumni involvement and ensures the program continues to serve the next generation of creative thinkers, doers and leaders? If you are passionate about helping Destination Imagination grow and thrive, we encourage you to apply for a position on our Alumni Ambassador Council.

Job description:

Council members work towards a goal of helping the alumni of Destination Imagination give back to the program through meaningful volunteer opportunities. The chosen applicant will join an existing Council with the mission of serving as a liaison between alumni at large and the Destination Imagination program by recruiting new alumni membership, engaging with current alumni volunteers, and retaining alumni involvement in the Destination Imagination program by providing opportunities for alumni connection.


  • Monthly meetings (remote/virtual)
  • Committee membership and participation throughout the year
  • Attending Global Finals
  • Attend annual AAC meeting (in person)


  • Active participation as a volunteer/employee in Destination Imagination
  • Registered as an Alumni Ambassador
  • Good team player
  • Self-motivated
  • Strong passion and demonstrated commitment to the Destination Imagination program

Applications will be open through October 17 2016.  The application can be accessed here. We look forward to hearing from you!



The Alumni Ambassador Council

Team Managers and Alumni: Guest Blog for Us!

By: Tina Shaffer

Over the past two years, we’ve worked with Destination Imagination volunteers to help make our blog a unique,

easily accessible resource designed to help teams and Team Managers throughout the season. From choosing a

Team Challenge to using everyday resources for a solution to attending a tournament for the first time, our goal is

support our teams and Team Managers in as many ways as possible. That’s why we’re seeking your help! We’re

looking for Team Managers and alumni to guest blog for us and share their words of advice (and humor!) with 

others. If you would like to guest blog for us this coming season, please fill out a brief survey below.

Team Managers: Click here to fill out our survey for our Team Manager Tips Series.

Alumni: Click here to fill out our survey for our Alumni Tips for Teams Series.

If you have any questions, please contact us directly at socialmedia@dihq.org.

By: Tina Shaffer

June 16, 2016

We’re excited to announce the release of our brand new, FREE app, Instant Challenge Shaker, available now in the iTunes and Google Play stores!

Love building? Acting? Being creative? Instant Challenges are fun, STEAM-based group activities that must be solved within a short period of time. Using your imagination, teamwork and few everyday materials, you and your friends will work together to see just how innovative you can be. With hundreds of potential combinations and ways to solve each Instant Challenge, the creative possibilities are endless!

Click here to download Instant Challenge Shaker on your Apple device. For Android devices, click here. To find this app and others from DI, search “Destination Imagination” in your device’s app store.

June 10, 2016

By: Tina Shaffer

Still reeling over the excitement of Global Finals 2016? Or maybe you’re just learning about Destination Imagination and want to know more about this amazing event! We’re happy to announce that all photos and videos are now available online. From the Team Challenge performances to Skills Workshops to the Innovation Expo, check out some of the greatest moments from this year’s largest celebration of student creativity.


With more than 17,000 people attending the event, we snapped a lot of photos! Check out more than 4,000 of them on our official Destination Imagination Smugmug page.


From interviews with teams and industry professions to recaps of some of our most popular events, check out our Global Finals 2016 YouTube Playlist to watch more than 60 videos recorded at Global Finals 2016. Many thanks to our DITV staff from NXLevel Solutions and our official Global Finals Student Reporters for their incredible reporting and video coverage throughout the event!

New Anti-Bullying Children’s Book Now Available

June 21, 2016

By: Tina Shaffer

We’re excited to announce that you can now purchase a copy of “The SockKids Stand Up Against Bullying,” a children’s book that was developed in partnership with the SockKids.

Written by authors Michael J. Sullivan and Shelley Larkin, the book follows Ethan, an elementary school student and Destination Imagination team member, who discovers how bullying hurts everyone and the importance of being courageous enough to speak up.

In addition to the story, children’s counselor and licensed therapist, Jamie Ross, gives adults and children guidelines on how to handle bullies. The book also includes a foreword by DI CEO, Dr. Chuck Cadle, and five creative activities for kids.

This exclusive book is written in a fun and engaging way, and Destination Imagination is honored to have partnered with SockKids on this project. With each purchase, you will receive a limited edition pin. (While supplies last.)

Click here to purchase your copy of “The SockKids Stand Up Against Bullying.”

June 15, 2016

By: Tina Shaffer

Destination Imagination (DI) is proud to announce the appointment of Michael Flachbart as managing director of development and strategic initiatives. Flachbart will collaborate with the DI Board of Trustees on expanding existing initiatives in addition to spearheading the creation of new scalable opportunities for increased engagement of Destination Imagination’s academic offerings and strategic alliances.

A deeply respected voice in the space science education community, Flachbart spent nearly three decades with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama in various positions. In his most recent role, Flachbart served as vice president of Global Space Camp Operations where he oversaw all aspects of Space Camp Operations for more than 30,000 trainees annually; attending all 50 states as well as more than 60 international locations. Flachbart’s work also supported the licensed operations of Space Camp campuses in Laval, Canada and Izmir, Turkey as well as supporting regional partners in Beijing, China and Dubai, UAE. The weeklong immersive STEM-based space training programs has produced more than 700,000 graduates.

“Welcoming Michael to the Destination Imagination leadership team is an exciting moment for the organization and for our global community of learners,” said Dr. Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. “His rich international experience in space science education combined with his passion for inspiring student curiosity and exploration will greatly enhance our STEAM academic challenges as we continue to work toward preparing students for the 21st century workforce.”

Flachbart also joins four other recently appointed DI team members as the organization builds capacity for continued growth. These strategic leadership additions signify Destination Imagination’s heightened commitment to teaching students the creative process and empowering them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. Recent Destination Imagination appointments include:

  • Stephan Turnipseed, Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer
  • Eric Wolff, Managing Director of HR, Culture and Communications;
  • Johnny Wells, Director of Education;
  • Amanda Potter, Program Coordinator

“Joining Destination Imagination now allows me to be a part of extending a child’s STEM-based learning experiences from one week to an entire year of challenges that also include fine arts concepts,” said Michael Flachbart. “This is an incredible organization that I truly believe is positively transforming our citizens, workers and leaders for the 21st century and beyond. I look forward to working with the leadership and board members to drive Destination Imagination’s mission forward.”

To view the official press release, click here.

Take the Dear Hero Computer Science Challenge!

Tournament Tips: Learning from Adversity

2016 - 2017 DI Team Registration Pricing

There will be a price decrease for volume purchases.

1. Any purchaser who buys 5 or more team numbers at one time will be designated a volume purchaser. This purchaser will be able to buy team numbers at $95 as long as he/she makes an initial purchase of a minimum of 5 team numbers. If the purchaser returns to buy any additional amount of numbers, they will all be at the $95 price.

2. Any non-volume purchaser will pay $125 for any team numbers purchased (less that the 5 minimum threshold). Example: The first time purchaser buys 4 team numbers, he/she would pay $500. If he/she buys one more at a later date, the price would be $125. If the purchaser buys 5 or more on the second purchase, then the price would drop to $95 each on that purchase and any future purchases.

3. The volume purchaser may receive digital downloads or printed materials - buyers preference.

4. Printed materials would be priced at $125 and digital download $105 for less than 5 team number purchasers. Volume purchasers would be charged one price, $95 per team number for either printed materials or digital download.

6. The same volume pricing rules described earlier will also apply to Rising Stars teams. Team number pricing will be $75 for non-volume purchasers and $60 for volume purchasers. Volume purchases will have the option of printed or digital download for $60.

7. Any pre-order purchases made to date will be adjusted to reflect the new pricing structure.
Just a reminder that the deadline for submitting an application for a DISC scholarship is March 1, 2016.  DISC will be awarding up to $24,000 in creativity and volunteerism scholarships to deserving candidates.   For more information vist the DISC scholarship pages at:  http://didisc.org/scholarshipshome

How to Create an Awesome (and Legal!) Pin

How to Create an Awesome (and Legal!) Pin
Pin trading is one of the most popular activities at Destination Imagination tournaments. When you create a pin for your team, your region or your Affiliate, it’s important to be creative and original. 
Read More
Enter Our Video Contest
Want to $1,500 and a free pass to Global Finals 2016? Enter our video contest and tell us your story. Contest is open to the general public. Deadline to submit your video is March 29, 2016  Read More
Instant Challenge Volume 8 Goes to Print
Get your hands on our first, official printed edition of Instant Challenge Volume 8! Book includes 50 STEAM-based activities to help improve your team’s or students’ quick, creative and critical thinking skills.
Read More
Team Manager Tips 
From creating a team calendar to competing at your first tournament, learn how to best manage your team this season with our Team Manager Tips blog series.     Read More
Team Manager Tips: Goal Setting & Getting Out of the ‘Nag Zone
Team Manager and former NASA aerospace engineer, Robin Holt Flachbart, shares tips on how to best encourage your team to set goals this season.

New DI Apparel and Accessories Now Available
Holiday shopping for a creative loved one? From fresh t-shirt designs to cozy pajamas to exclusive holiday ornaments, we have more than 30 new products available. Beat the holiday crowds and shop online with us today. 

Click here to purchase
Save the Date: 2016 Ignite
Innovative Education Summit
We’re excited to announce that our 2016 Ignite conference will be hosted in partnership with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama from July 20-23, 2016. Our conference is open to the public and will bring together a diverse group of educators, education leaders and DI volunteers from the U.S. and around the world. Read More

Instant Challenge E-Book Volume 8 Now Available
Our Instant Challenge e-book Volume 8 is now available on ShopDI.org and includes 50 never-before-released team-building activities for elementary through university level students.

Click here to purchase 
You Know You’re A DI Kid When…

Does your home improvement store know you by name? If so, you might be a DI kid. Check out a few experiences that every DI alum and participant can relate to, courtesy of alumna Liz Lohrmann.