Oct 012014
Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The ability to work as part of a team is one of the most important skills any student must learn. Not only will teamwork be required for the rest of the student’s academic career, but also when the student goes out and joins the workforce. Teamwork is also critical for a Destination Imagination® Team. Teamwork is what allows a team to turn a stressful and challenging situation into a success. As adult volunteers, it is always difficult to watch a team struggle to work together.

The best way to avoid that struggle is to start of team building exercise early and do plenty of them throughout the entire year! Below are several team-building activity resources, so that you and your team have the best team work possible.




Below are a few activities from the Duct Tape Teambuilding Games video playlist. Check out the playlist for more great ideas!


Sep 222014

Today’s workforce is expected to be able to use a variety of digital or online management tools. So why not give your students a head start and try using one or more of these free project management tools to help students stay on focus?

The below list is by no means includes all free project management software programs available, just a few that can been mentioned on multiple lists as having a free version and easy-to-use. If you have any suggestions for other project management tools, comment on Facebook or Twitter.



Your team can leave messages and notes about your project in the system, and set up email updates so you can always stay on top of what is going on even if you’re not logged in with the collaboration and integration tools.


Your team could create cards, drag and drop cards between lists to show progress, and add as many people as you need to a card. Available on computer and mobile devices.

Trello Board Example


For teams with 5 or less members, you can have unlimited projects and 500 MB of storage as well as email integration, reminders about deadlines, and the ability to  add or edit documents within the system.


Your team could create, share, and comment on tasks, projects, calendars, and documents in this collaborative environment.


Your team can view their goals, track progress, assign priorities and tasks, and get updates on the project right in the program. It also has a calendar function to graph the team’s tasks right onto the dashboard.

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 cre8iowa@gmail.com.

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