Sep 162014

Whether your students are researching for their Destination Imagination® Challenge or for a school project, learning how to find resources for a project is a valuable skill. Students will have to research to write papers, find jobs, and look for solutions. Below are some tips and resources to help students effectively and efficiently investigate and write about their topics.

Dustin M. Wax is a former contributing editor and project manager at Lifehack. He has the following researching tips from his article.

  1. Schedule: Write up a schedule with a series of milestones by a specific date and keep it.
  2. Start, don’t end, with Wikipedia: Wikipedia is a great place to start researching to find keywords and overview information related to your topic.
  3. Mine bibliographic: Once you found a good source, skim through the bibliography and note any resources which seem to relate to your research.
  4. Have a research question in mind: keep your research focused by working towards an answer to your question.
  5. Deal with one piece at a time: don’t try to tackle all aspects of your topic at once.
  6. Use a system: start researching with a plan to collect and organize your notes and resources.
  7. Know your resources: spend some time getting to know what resources you can access through your school, local library, etc.
  8. Ask for help: don’t be afraid to ask your librarian, teacher, or other students for help finding relevant materials for your topic.
  9. Carry an idea book: keep a small notebook and pen with you to jot down ideas.
  10. Bring it up to date: pay attention to the publication date of materials—ideally your references to come from the last 10 years or so.


Reading Resources

One resource to help students research is the Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS) Research Guide. This guide is made up of 21 tip sheets that answer many different research topics. Access the CRLS Research Guide here.

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab, or OWL, is a great resource to answer questions about citation, formatting, and research. Take a look at their Conducting Research segment found HERE

BBC created Top Tips for Research Skills as part of their Key Skills module. Take a look at the BBC suggestions Here.


Video Resources

What is research?


How to take great notes


How To Write A Research Paper! (8 simple steps)

Sep 122014

Google partnered with Discovery Education to develop the following classroom activities that are designed to help students to jump start their creativity. This set of warm-up activities were developed for the Doodle 4 Google 2014 competition which ended March 20, 2014. While the Doodle 4 Google competition has completed, these activity packs can be a valuable exercise as each provide students a “mini” Challenge to solve and asks students to develop various skills. The set of activities walk students through the stages of the Destination Imagination Creative Process: recognize, imagine, initiate & collaborate, assess, and celebrate. Each activity pack has been adapted for four age groups: K-2nd grade students, 3rd-5th grade students, 6th-8th grade students, and 9th-12th grade students.

Have fun!

Activity Packs for K-2nd grade students

  1. Activity Pack 1 (K-2)
  2. Activity Pack 2 (K-2)
  3. Activity Pack 3 (K-2)

Activity Packs for 3rd-5th grade students

  1. Activity Pack 1 (3-5)
  2. Activity Pack 2 (3-5)
  3. Activity Pack 3 (3-5)

Activity Packs for 6th-8th grade students

  1. Activity Pack 1 (6-8)
  2. Activity Pack 2 (6-8)
  3. Activity Pack 3 (6-8)

Activity Packs for 9th-12th grade students

  1. Activity Pack 1 (9-12)
  2. Activity Pack 2 (9-12)
  3. Activity Pack 3 (9-12)
Sep 052014

There are many dialogues about the need for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles to be taught to students. There are equally as many exchanges on the need for the Arts in school. However, we need to talk about STEM and artistic principles working in unison if we want to positively impact achievement.

The Golden RatiSTEM-Logo2o (1:1.618) is a mathematical concept that states the ratio of two quantities is sublime if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. What is so amazing is that the Golden Ratio appears in nature, such as snail shells and flower petals; in art, such as Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” and Dali’s “The Sacrament of the Last Supper”; and in architecture, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Parthenon. This incredible ratio provides balance to these great works and structures. This is one example how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) principles work with artistic pursuits. According to the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, STEM education provides Iowans not only with great career options, but with the capability to more deeply appreciate and contribute to the finer things in life — art, music, culture.

Calhoun Arts Academy Logo

Calhoun Arts Academy Logo

Art can also work with science. Dr. Johanna Kieniewicz of the British Library argues that “although art cannot directly communicate science or change minds, it can create a space for dialogue around difficult issues.”2 Not only can art open and improve communication, it can actually inspire scientific and mathematical discoveries. Dr. Ed Belbruno, a mathematician and astrophysicist, was challenged to devise a new route to the moon that required no fuel. He solved the problem by painting the route.3 He approached the problem as an artist rather than a scientist and found a solution that was used in 1991 to rescue a Japanese spacecraft.

Still from the film of Ed Belbruno by Jacob Akira Okada

Still from the film about Ed Belbruno by Jacob Akira Okada

What does this mean for you and the young minds in your life? That engaging in activities that require the use of STEM and artistic principles encourages imagination and innovation in both areas. Participation in the Destination Imagination® program does just that.

So start your team today!

Learn more by reading Start-A-Team Guide or contacting us at

Ready to purchase? Go to DI Store Portal


Aug 262014

Welcome to the 2014-15 season! Students for a Creative Iowa is proud to have selected the Destination Imagination® program to serve the needs of Iowa students for the season. We can’t wait to see all the solutions that teams can create to this year’s fun Challenges!

We are excited to share that Destination Imagination Inc has reduced the cost of Challenge Program Team Numbers (formerly Team Packs). The initial Team Number is $95 with any additional Team Numbers available for $80 each. We are excited to pass these savings to our members and so Iowa Membership prices will remain the same for this season. For more information about cost, look at 2014-15 Iowa DI Participation Costs handout. If you are ready to purchase go to the DI Shop to get your Team Numbers today!

Whether you are a veteran or a new Team Manager, please check out our Document Library and our Recruiting Kit pages. There is a plethora of good information including handouts, activities, and educator resources.


Good luck with the new season!

May 302014


CONGRATULATIONS to the thirteen teams that represented Iowa at the 2014 Destination Imagination Global Finals! This year’s Global Finals competition was the biggest yet with 1412 teams participating from all over the world. We couldn’t be more proud of our Iowa students. Check out pictures from the event HERE. You should see many familiar faces!

See the results for the Iowa Teams below and for complete results visit GF14 Results.

Team # Organization Team Name Challenge Level Place
112-53394 Maharishi School Gold How about no! A: Dig In SL 25th
112-34907 Independent – Hopewell Elementary, Bettendorf, IA The Lightbulbs B: Going to Extremes EL 38th
112-07734 Centerville TAG Program Creative Pancakes B: Going to Extremes ML 49th
112-07542 Maharishi School Gold Thermally Produced Disembodied Intelligences B: Going to Extremes SL 17th
112-30200 St. Mary’s Kidz Benzi and the Posse C: Laugh Art Loud ML 54th
112-22255 Maharishi School Gold Oh, the iron knee. C: Laugh Art Loud SL 8th
112-59167 Maharishi School Gold A freak among the falcons C: Laugh Art Loud SL 18th
112-29268 Taylor Elementary Taylor Elementary D: Pandemonium! EL 58th
112-31292 Davenport Community Schools Sudlow F D: Pandemonium! ML 55th
112-51964 Maharishi School Gold The group squad D: Pandemonium! SL 12th
112-83703 Maharishi School Gold What’s for Dinner? E: The Tension Builds EL 37th
112-36488 Southwest Valley Middle School SWiVa Studz E: The Tension Builds ML 60th
112-07188 Grinnell-Newburg Community SD Choco Looners pO: Pitch & Play ML 29th