On February 22, 2020 I participated in my first Destination Imagination Regional Tournament. It was an experience I will remember for years to come. The people, the teams, instant challenges, the energy, the vibe, everything about it was different from what I have experience before.

I was in a group of five. Brenton, Felix, Thomas, Ciara, and myself. We took on the Engineering challenge. Our task was to build a bridge made out of only playing cards and tape, it had to be assembled live during the performance, there had to be a story, a backdrop that switches during the performance, and two team choice elements. On top of this, the bridge could be separated into anywhere from 2-18 parts. Each part could not weigh over a certain weight, and the overall built bridge could not weigh over 1000 grams.

We were scored on how well we completed each part of the challenge. We were scored against other teams and obviously the team with the most total points in the end would win. 

The main part of our challenge was the bridge.

Ms. Maxwell said something to our group and it really stuck with me. “The bridge is so important you can only have a bridge, no story or anything else and still come first place because that is how many points the bridge is worth.” When she told us this we knew we had to focus on the bridge as our priority.

We spent the first few classes coming up with designs for the bridge.

A few classes or about 1 week later we had all of our challenge prepped. We had practiced acting and putting the bridge together. Some of the group was not so convinced about certain elements of the bridge. “It’s two heavy.” “The supports do not look stable to me!” “Guys its falling” were some of the phrases used during this time. But never less, we ended up coming up with a compromise that worked for everyone. 

Now, you might be wondering why I am only talking about the bridge, well don’t worry, it will all make sense soon. 

A few nights before the competition we had left our bridge standing in front of the janitor door. We found it the next morning and it was not in good shape. The supports were falling apart, pieces were missing, and this was purely our fault, we did not put it away properly. We fixed the bridge and thought nothing else about it.  But, one piece had not been duct taped back into place and this piece was a connector we had made to connect two pieces. This was our ultimate demise.

During the performance, all was going fine and dandy until we started assembling the bridge. The piece that hadn’t been duct taped back in kept getting pushed back in when we tried to assemble the bridge, this meant we could not connect the bridge and get it to stand. We tried to improve some of the script so we could get more time to keep trying to build the bridge. But, before we knew it time had ran up and our bridge was not up. The most important part of our challenge was incomplete. All those memories of being told focus on the bridge came flooding in. And I don’t like being pessimistic but we failed. Not excuses. This was a learning point for us, we learned what happens when we don’t take care of our things. Now, we had an amazing story and team choice elements which in the end helped us pull through and still get 1st place. But it didn’t feel good. We knew as a team we could do much better and that was our mindset going into provincials.

The next week at school we met and spent hours finding new bridge support designs, we studied real life bridges, found the most sturdy shapes. We did everything and we had started building knew supports as well knew pieces that were lighter and more efficient so we wouldn’t have a repeat of regionals. This is when I believe we came together as a team and all worked together. None of us wanted a repeat of regionals and that is what fuelled our fire.

Just when we started building we hit spring break and the coronavirus cancelled all our school. Our wort nightmare. We couldn’t retrieve any of our parts at the school and were stuck with no materials. 

Research and Understand: How might I research and understand a problem, process, or challenge using different perspectives.

  • I am able to do this by using different perspectives to understand my DI problem/task. My group and I were able to use different perspectives of weight, efficiency, money, materials, and more to understand the challenge we were given.


Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the Provincial DI tournament post coming up!