Nov 142014

Science Fair Central is a free resource promoted by Discovery Education. The site is full of science project ideas and instructs students through the scientific process. This site is designed to help students do two things:

  • design and conduct an investigative experiment (investigation)
  • design and engineer a practical solution to a problem (invention)

DI teams can benefit by looking at the project ideas and working through scientific process before developing their solution. So that when the team comes to a point where they need to use technical know-how the team is prepared with ideas on how to move forward. One also never knows how one idea with morph into something else!



Nov 052014
Register now for this year’s Advanced Team Manager & Coordinator Training Workshop!

The Advanced Team Manager & Coordinator workshop is an in-person training opportunity for all Iowa members. This hands-on workshop is your chance to get tips and advice on how to work with your Destination Imagination (DI) team(s) from experienced Team Managers, Coordinators, and cre8iowa Volunteers. You will also get a Q&A period with the Affiliate Challenge Masters, the individuals in charge of the DI Challenges here in Iowa. There is no additional charge for this workshop, as it is included in your Iowa membership. To register for this face to face workshop please use either of the following links:

Date and Time

  • 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM on December 6, 2014


  • Iowa Energy Center, 2521 University Blvd., Suite 124, Ames, IA 50010.

What to bring

  • You will need your DI Challenge Program materials and a writing utensil. All other materials will be provided.
  • Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch and beverage for the working lunch period. You will not have an opportunity to leave for lunch. Coffee, water and snacks will be provided.
  • You may also wish to bring a checkbook to purchase items from our sales table that may be helpful to you and your team(s). These items include books, games and activities.


Time Session Presenter(s)
10 am -11 am Introductions and General Session Bruce Antion and Alisha Day
11 am -12 pm Making Materials Work Sara Merritt
12 pm – 1 pm Improv for Everyone Jay Swords
1 pm – 2 pm Instant Challenge Prep Sam Hapke
2 pm – 3 pm Q&A with the ACMs Keith Kutz & ACMs



If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at or call us at 515-650-8949.

Oct 302014

madewithcodeThis summer, Google helped launch the Made with Code initiative along with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch and more. This initiative’s goal is to inspire girls take an interest in computer science and learn some basic coding principles. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, recognized how technology is everywhere and how few women are represented in that field. Susan got this initiative started because she wanted to connect her daughter to coding resources and encourage her and other girls to be more interested in computer science.

The free projects include Blockly-based projects, like making a 3D printed bracelet, learning to create GIFs and “building beats” for a music track. While the projects are geared to girls, anyone can work their way through the projects and learn more about the ever growing computer sciences field.

Get Started by going to Made with Code or watch the video for more details.



Oct 272014

The Iowa Membership Registration Form for 2014-2015 season is available. Please note that we have moved to an online registration process. Before you begin, please review the 2014-15 Iowa Membership Registration Form Instructions and gather the appropriate information. You may use either of the following two links to access the online registration form.

For more information about the Iowa Membership and the Registration process, please go to the Iowa Membership Registration webpage.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at or by phone at 515-650-8949.

Oct 142014

Sky QMarkIt is important, as adult facilitators, that we ask open-ended questions from the very start of the season. Higher order reasoning, such as synthesis and evaluation, is stimulated through the use of open-ended questions[1]. By asking open-ended questions, you are encouraging your students to think of other possibilities and even develop self-reliance. As a Destination Imagination Team Manager, Coordinator, or Parent; it is even more important to use open-ended questions since asking closed-ended questions could cause or even be interference. Check out the information below to further understand the importance of asking and how to ask open-ended questions. For more information about interference, check out the Rules of Interference section in the Rules of the Road (pages 229-232).

Characteristics of an open-ended question include:[2]

  • Requires more than a yes or no answer
  • Requires more than a short answer, such as a specific fact or number
  • Often start with “What…,” “How….”, “Why. . .”
  • Can also be phrased as statement: “Tell me…”, “Describe . . .”, “Please explain . . .”
  • May take the participant a few seconds to think about their answer
  • There are no right or wrong answers

It is important to remember the characteristics of open-ended questions when framing your conversation with the students. Your DI team will try to pick up on any outside clue they can to figure out if you like what they are doing. For example, consider what the following question suggests.

Do you think you should go ahead and keep working on your script from last meeting?

The team, after hearing that question, may feel pressure to keep working on their script, regardless; if they think it is done or not. In comparison, consider the following more open-ended version.

How do you feel about the script that you were working on last meeting?

This version calls students’ attention to a particular aspect, without the strong indication they have to keep working on it. Anytime you feel like you are about to ask a yes-no question or suggest they work on a component, stop and try to re-phrase your question or statement. It is your role to encourage your students to complete each element of their Team Challenge, so encourage them to think about with a question. If the team says they feel good about that element, then leave it alone and ask the team what they would like to work on next.

Asking open-ended questions is great way to respond when the team is asking you a question. Remember, as the Team Manager, Parent, or Coordinator; you cannot contribute ideas or suggestions to the solution. Let’s take the example from the Roadmap to see how this can work.

Team Member asks, “Why won’t this gear turn properly?”

Team Manager responds with, “What are some reasons you can think of that could be keeping it from turning properly?”

The open-ended question encourages the students to come up with their own solutions. The Team Manager can then ask a follow-up open-ended question and keep the conversation going until the team comes up with a solution. If the Team Manager answered, then it would be interference and stop the students from engaging in higher order thinking.

How comfortable are you with asking open-ended questions? It takes practice, but asking open-ended questions will be worth the effort when you what your students created all on their own. To help get you started, here is a list of open-ended questions that you can keep at the ready.

  • How do you feel about [insert challenge element]?
  • What kind of information do you need in order to go forward?
  • Why is that happening?
  • What skills do you need to learn?
  • Describe how you did that.
  • Tell me what you want to work on next time.
  • How can you work together to accomplish [insert challenge element]?
  • What do you think will happen at tournament with [prop, background, misc.]?
  • How can you solve the problem with [insert object]?
  • Please explain to me how that fulfills one of the scoring elements.