DI (Destination Imagination) is a worldwide tournament through which youths around the globe can participate in. This nonprofit organization invites students to involve themselves in a hands on learning experience through project-based challenges. These challenges are designed to develop the following:

  • confidence
  • creativity
  • critical thinking
  • communication
  • teamwork skills

DI Challenges are composed off of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. My DI team was called “The Troublesome Tech Team”. If you couldn’t tell by the name, the challenge we chose was technical. Prior to the pandemic, teams would normally perform a challenge solution in front of appraisers. However, this year, all teams completed their challenge solution through a video.

My team members were: Sabrina, Theryn, Noah, Patrick, and Xander.

Each team had to present a solution to both an instant challenge and our central challenge. However, we can’t share our solution to the instant challenge due to competitive reasons. Instead, I’ll explain our central challenge and how we “solved” it.

My team’s challenge, “The Next Level” was meant to be a video presentation in the style of a video game. We had to include an adventurer that went on a quest to obtain the “Ultimate Prize”. However, we also needed to incorporate cinematic techniques, technical methods, and two team choice elements in the video… which made things much more complicated. On top of that, we also had a 5 minute time limit. Sabrina and I collaborated on the script, which you can read here.

At first, I had created an animation as part of our “team choice elements”, but we ended up scrapping it since nobody really liked the ideas I included in it. Although it’s not the full animation, here are some drawings that basically show what my animation was like. 

Our challenge solution involves an “AI” as our adventurer. I had originally wanted to represent this through a very “personified way”, somewhat like the SQUIP from “Be More Chill.” Unfortunately, that idea also got scrapped and we ended up using an animation that Theryn made. You can watch our video down below!

If I’m being honest, our team was a complete mess. Most of the time, I didn’t even know what everyone was doing. We planned out responsibilities, but didn’t really stick to the plan, in my opinion at least. It was a disaster, and I’m honestly somewhat disappointed by the end result. I don’t think we worked very well as a team. However, as my teacher, Ms. Willemse, says, each failure is a learning experience. What I know now is that collaborating with others is a lot harder  than I had initially thought. Sometimes in team projects, you have to make sacrifices on your part just to maintain the “peace”. Your ideas won’t always be heard unless you put in the effort to actually get people to listen to you. You won’t always get along, but the important part is talking through your disagreements to come to an agreement. 

Afterwards, we received a certificate and pin for participating, which was really cool. Our class also received hoodies… but I’m assuming mine was given to someone else.

In conclusion, DI isn’t as easy as some may think. It requires a lot of collaborating, teamwork, thinking, and work. I personally felt really stressed by the whole thing, and I’m not all too proud of our final result. It felt like we were getting bombarded by deadline after deadline, worksheet after worksheet. On top of that, I felt like our team had difficulty collaborating at times. I guess that’s something I should expect more of in the future. However, I’m hoping for the best should I participate in DI again.