Calling All Creative Kids!

Kate Poitras, Hopedale Di Town Coordinator
Hopedale Destination Imagination Is Kicking Off Its 20Th Year
Issue Date: 
October, 2019
Article Body: 

Hopedale Destination Imagination is currently forming teams for the 2019-2020 season and welcomes interested students, and their adult volunteers, to join in the fun. Hopedale Destination Imagination is a unique, team-centered, extra-curricular activity where students form teams with their peers to solve in-depth challenges that highlight their different interests, skills and abilities. Each year, for the past twenty years, some of Hopedale’s most creative and innovative students have participated in the program.
Each Destination Imagination (DI) team is made up of 2-7 team members and has an adult volunteer, known as a Team Manager, who facilitates team meetings. In the fall, at the start of the DI season, teams meet to review the new challenges that the national Destination Imagination program publishes. There is a challenge for each of the following categories: Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Service Learning and Early Learning/Rising Stars.
After reviewing the challenges and discussing their interests and strengths, each team chooses one challenge that they would like to work on for the season. Once the team chooses their challenge, they strategize on how they can use their strengths and creativity to come up with a unique “challenge solution”. The challenge solution must meet the requirements set forth in the challenge, but students use their imagination to create a one-of-a-kind solution. Solutions include skits, props and technical and mechanical elements. Teams work on their challenge solution for several months before presenting it a Regional Tournament in March. Each team’s solution is appraised and scored by volunteer judges known as Appraisers. Teams with high enough scores can advance to the State Tournament at WPI and, once there, compete to advance to the Global Finals Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.
Globally, there are more than 150,000 Destination Imagination participants from 30 different countries. Hopedale Destination Imagination typically has between 7-10 teams participating each year. Last year, there were ten Hopedale teams that presented at the Regional Tournament in Bellingham, Massachusetts. Two of those teams advanced to the State Tournament and one team, the Radical Whales, advanced to Global Finals. In May 2019, the Radical Whales travelled to Kansas City, Missouri where they presented their challenge solution and met participants from as far away as Australia, Mexico and China.
Educators, parents and employers often speak of the real life skills that students gain while participating in Destination Imagination. The process of creating a challenge solution requires collaborating, planning, budgeting, experimenting, compromising, evaluating, revising and persevering. Destination Imagination participants become accustomed to working on a team, approaching problems creatively and managing setbacks. By the end of the DI season, each team has worked together to accomplish a difficult goal and has a lot to be proud of and to celebrate.
If Hopedale Destination Imagination sounds like a program that your child would enjoy, please contact the Hopedale Destination Imagination Town Coordinator, Kate Poitras, at [email protected]. You may visit the website for more information and to read about our upcoming events.