One of the more unique programs offered in Midlothian ISD is the Destination ImagiNation (DI) program for students. DI is a hands-on, minds-on creative problem solving process where students can learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving on a global scale. The vision for DI: “To be the global leader in teaching the creative process on the journey from imagination to reality.”
So what do students do in DI? Student teams work together to solve open-ended challenges on a variety of topics and then present their solutions in creative ways at regional tournaments. MISD has a long history with DI (since 1999) and an even longer history with Odyssey of the Mind (similar program many years back). Teams think on their feet, work cohesively, and design original solutions; they also have fun, take creative risks, focus together, and frame ideas while working with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the arts (music, art, drama presentations).
As a mom of former DI-ers, I can vouch firsthand on the fact it is rewarding work and fabulous training for real-life. Our oldest daughter just recently shared with me how the skills developed through many years of DI helped her solve problems at the university level; several of her peers were completely lost in the creative problem solving process.
We had two LME teams participate this past weekend in DI competition at the regional level. Our “Rising Stars” team (grades K-2 only) included Hannah, Avery, Emma, and Collin. They won the prestigious “Spirit of Discovery and Imagination Award” in their age category for outstanding achievement; way to go Rising Stars!
Our DI team of “older” members included Mia, Skyler, Kathryn, Aidan, Whitney, Brooke, and Allana. They competed with teams from all over the region in a global challenge involving famous folks such as Albert Einstein, Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Athena, Ellen Ochoa, and others. Shown here with their DI Coach, Dan Altman (dedicated Miller parent and volunteer), they did an amazing job as well! Congratulations and special thanks to each team member, family, and coaches for your dedication and enthusiasm to DI this year!
Patience, flexibility, fluency, elaboration, originality, persistence, and respect are just some of the valuable learning tools the creative problem solving process offers to young learners. Here’s hoping we have many more participate in DI in the years to come! 🙂