Nov 122015

The 2015-16 Iowa Destination Imagination Calendar is available. You can access the calendar here or see the information below.



  • January 15, 2016. Early Bird Iowa Membership registration deadline. After this date, teams pay the final registration fee.
  • January 15, 2016. Pre-selection Challenge deadline for returning Appraisers who appraised in both 2014 and 2015. (email:
  • January 22, 2016. Final Iowa Membership registration deadline.
  • February 20, 2016 (Saturday). Special scheduling requests deadline for Sub-state tournament (send to:
  • February 15, 2016, midnight Pacific Standard Time. Team Clarification request deadline (visit :
  • March 19, 2016 (Saturday). Special scheduling requests deadline for State tournament (send to:

Training Workshops

  • October 2015 (or earlier). Updated Online Team Manager & Coordinator Basic Training will be released (included in Iowa Membership Fee).
  • January 16, 2016 (Saturday). Instant Challenger and Team Manager Workshop. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. Ames Middle School, Ames.

Appraiser Training (full details are found HERE)

Registration begins at 9 am. Training runs between 10 am – 3 pm.

  • February 6, 2016 (Saturday).
    • Ames Middle School
    • 3915 Mortensen Road, Ames, IA 50014
    • Check-In: Commons
  • February 13, 2016 (Saturday).
    • Kirkwood Community College
    • 1816 Lower Muscatine Rd.,  Iowa City, IA 52240
    • Check-In: Room ICCR 263 (Room Change as of 11/16/15)
  • February 20, 2016 (Saturday). 
    • Ames Middle School
    • 3915 Mortensen Road, Ames, IA 50014
    • Check-In: Commons

Iowa Tournaments

  • March 12, 2016 (Saturday). Sub-State Tournament. Ames Middle School, Ames. (Note: Rising Stars!® teams will participate ONLY at Sub-state.)
  • April 9, 2016 (Saturday). State Tournament. Ames Middle School, Ames.

Global Finals Tournament


Note: All dates are subject to change because of hosting site requirements.

Nov 042015

The below activity, Bend It, Shape It,  is from 101 Activities that Teach Creativity and Problem Solving by Arthur VanGundy. This activity is useful for a Destination Imagination® team, because it provides a framework for team members to start brainstorming different solutions for any component of the Destination Imagination challenges.


This activity is quite basic. All you have to do is change the nature of the problem in different ways. It doesn’t matter what you change or how you change it. Just change it in any way possible. If you change something, you create a new perspective, and that perspective can lead to other new perspective and ideas. This is basic free association.


  • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible.
  • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas.

ParticipantsSmall groups of four to seven people each.

Materials, Supplies, and Equipment

  • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets 6+
  • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (12” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 post-it notes

Time30 minutes

Handout: Bend It Shape It and Osborn Check List Handout


  1. Distribute one Osborn Question Check List and one Bend It, Shape It Handout to each participant, review them with the participants, and answer any questions they may have.
  2. Have the group practice using the check list using a challenge of their (other than the example) or one common to all groups.
  3. Encourage the participants to generate at least one idea for each of the words on the check list.
  4. Ask each group to share two or three of their ideas.
  5. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-It Notes (one idea per note) and place them on the flip charts for evaluation.


Participants don’t have to limit their ideas to those prompted by Osborn’s list. Any changes will do. They can change color, shape, smell, cost, design, texture, timing, and so forth. The possible changes are limited only by their imagination.

Ask the participants to discuss whether the check list hindered idea generation in any way or facilitated it. Have them discuss their responses, especially why the check list hindered or facilitated their brainstorming. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions:

  • What was most helpful about this exercise?
  • What was most challenging?
  • What can we apply in our work?
  • What did you lean?
  • Which ideas were the most interesting and why?
Oct 302015

Critical thinking is a core competency students will need for the future. The American Management Association states, “employees need the critical thinking skills to discern new challenges and opportunities from the flux and glut of instant-access information.” So how can you help prepare the students in your life? Try doing these free critical thinking activities your students from

For Destination Imagination teams, these activities can be used as warm-up activities to help get your students prepared to think critically about the tasks and problems they face during the rest of the meeting.

Attribute Linking—Building Community by Taking Perspectives

Students pair up according to similar physical attributes determined by the facilitator: hair color, eye color, hand size, and height. For each attribute, students discuss times when they were discriminated against because of it. They then take on the roles as victim, perpetrator, or bystander and discuss.

Barometer—Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues

When posed with a thought-provoking prompt, students line themselves up along a U-shaped continuum representing where they stand on that issue. The sides of the U are opposite extremes, with the middle being neutral. With the rule that students use “I” statements when stating their opinion, the facilitator sparks discussion by giving equal opportunity for individuals in each area of the continuum to speak about “their stand.”

Big Paper—Building a Silent Conversation

Writing (or drawing) and silence are used as tools to slow down thinking and allow for silent reflection, unfiltered. By using silence and writing, students can focus on other viewpoints. Armed with a driving question, markers and Big Paper (poster-sized is best), students work in pairs or threes to have a conversation on the Big Paper. Students can write at will, but it must be done in silence after a time of reflection upon the driving question.

This strategy is great for introverts, and provides a ready made visual record of thought for later.

Body sculpting—Using Theater to Explore Important Ideas

Given time to consider their feelings on a thought-provoking abstract or concrete image, students come up with words that describe their reactions—trapped, free, angry, joyful, etc. They are then paired up and one person is the sculptor, while the other is the “clay.” The sculptor poses the clay into a form that artfully displays the word they wish to portray. Some guidelines:

  1. Sculptors can either physically mold the “clay” or act as a mirror for them to show the “clay” the position/image they want.
  2. Images can be concrete or abstract.
  3. Sculptors must treat their clay with gentleness and respect (very important!).
  4. There are no wrong answers; whatever image you get is fine.
  5. All body sculpting must be done in silence.

Café Conversations

Understanding different viewpoints is a great way to delve deeply into a topic. 5 to 10 students are given “character sheets” which they are to take on. These might include gender, age, family status (married, single, how many children, etc.), occupation, education level and significant life events. The group is also given a historical event or similar topic.

Students can create identity charts in collaboration with each other to determine their character’s viewpoint. When they can adequately represent their character, what follows is a “cafe conversation.” Don’t forget to go over guidelines on how to respectfully disagree! Allow at least 20 minutes for a conversation.

Oct 142015

It’s that time of year. The Destination Imagination® season has started, but the tournaments are still months away. This is a perfect opportunity for you and your team to start building the foundation for the season (and for life).


It is important to develop skill sets now that will help your Destination Imagination (DI) team solve whatever challenge they select later in the year. Right now, you can provide feedback and guidance on the skills your students are learning without any concern of Interference. For more information about Interference, see pages 17 – 20 of the Rules of the Road for more information.

One of the skill sets that all DI students will need to master is performance. Janea Dahl, creator and author of Drama Notebook, has a bunch of tips and activity suggestions specifically for DI teams. However, these tips and suggestions can be used regardless if your students will be DI team members or not. This resource focus helping students project their voices, face the audience, develop a stage presence, and telling interesting and coherent stories. Check out Tips for better performances!

Drama skills for DI teams!

 Drama Notebook contains the world’s largest collection of drama games, lesson plans, scripts and drama activities for kids and teens. The materials in Drama Notebook were created primarily by Janea Dahl, who wrote the curriculum to support a team of teaching artists who led drama workshops and in-school artist in residencies in Portland, Oregon.
Oct 042015

The 2015-16 Iowa Membership Registration Form is now available! Go to the Iowa Membership Registration webpage to get started or click on either of the links below.

The deadline to register for the Early Bird discount is January 15, 2016.

Registering your team for an Iowa Membership costs $75* and grants you access to all the cre8iowa provided activities, programming, and support through blog, e-mail and phone calls, Online Training for Team Managers & Coordinators, an in-person Training Workshop for Team Managers & Coordinators, Appraiser Training; access to cre8iowa Member Content, and participation at Iowa tournaments. You also have exclusive access to other training opportunities where participation is offered for an additional fee. For more details, visit  Iowa Membership Registration webpage.


*If you register by the Early Bird deadline.