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3 Ways that DI Will Change (This Year)

So much of our lives is up in the air right now. But we know one thing is certain: if you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to get started on the next season of Destination Imagination (DI).

Normally at this time of year, we’re announcing all of the Challenges. As you can imagine, coronavirus upset our typical schedule. We also needed more time to polish up our plans based on what we learned from Virtual Global Finals, the Summer of Creativity. 

Until we have everything ready for you, let’s talk about what we do know. Here are three changes you can expect for the upcoming season and three ways DI remains the same.

3 Ways DI Will Change (This Year)

 1   The 2020-21 season will launch later than normal

Adapting to the challenges caused by COVID-19, we’ll launch the 2020-21 season later than normal. We are re-developing our Challenges so they can be solved and scored fairly in a digital format for advancing through all levels of tournaments. We want to ensure that we deliver a high-quality product and our participants have a fantastic experience.

The following materials will be available on November 1, 2020

  • Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Service Learning and Early Learning Challenges

  • Roadmap

  • Rules of the Road

  • Instant Challenge Practice Set

We are excited to announce that we will also be releasing the Engineering and Improv Challenges on December 1, 2020.

What can you do in the meantime? Here are three steps you can take.

  1. The delayed start provides your school and community more time to engage more teams. Talk to your school principal and district personnel about ways you can promote DI in your school. Tell your friends about DI and how rewarding being a Team Manager—or team member—is.

  2. Reach out to people in your community—professors, retirees, experts—to line up your Appraisers now.

  3. Haven’t you always wanted more time for fundraising? Use the pre-season to launch your plans.

 2 Team Manager Background Checks will be facilitated by DI

This season, all Team Manager Background Checks will be facilitated by DI. We have streamlined our background check process for Team Managers to ensure that we have consistent, updated information for every adult who will work one-on-one with a youth participant. This procedure will ensure our team members can thrive, learn, and have fun in a safe and caring environment.

Team Numbers and Background Checks for the 2020-21 season are available for purchase NOW on the DI Store. More information about products and pricing can be found on our Start a Team page.

 3 Some tournaments will be 100% digital while others may incorporate an in-person celebration

As always, our top priority is the safety of our participants and volunteers, and our Challenge season will reflect that. As many school districts are beginning to announce plans for the fall, we understand that situations will vary in different parts of the world. 

Our Global Finals 2020 Summer of Creativity event was a success and gave a creative outlet to over 600 teams from around the world to solve project-based Challenges remotely. Teams were able to showcase their creations from the past year as well as engage in new Virtual Challenges designed to accommodate social distancing practices. The transition to a virtual event was a significant one. We learned that our participants are adaptable, resilient and can be just as creative in a digital format. Watch our Global Finals 2020 Summer of Creativity Closing Celebration Video.

Some 2020-21 tournaments will be 100% digital while others may incorporate an in-person celebration. The in-person celebrations will have a new and different format. Learn more about what these could look like on our new FAQ page. These decisions will be made by Affiliate leadership, with guidance from the Destination Imagination headquarters (DIHQ) team and based on local public health recommendations. As tournament types and dates are settled, they will be listed on

3 Ways DI Stays the Same

 1   Our Challenges will provide project-based learning in a competitive environment

The Challenges will help kids with:

  • Problem-solving STEAM-based challenges that students solve in teams.

  • Creativity Kids blossom developing ideas that build on what they learn in school--and in life.

  • Collaboration Team members make all the decisions and even manage the budget.

  • Communication Each student has a voice and space to develop unique abilities and talents. 

What you love most about the DI Challenge Experience will be with us next season.

 2 Teams will compete and advance through Regional, Affiliate and Global competition levels

Just like in the past, teams will compete and have the opportunity to advance through Regional, Affiliate and Global competition levels. Planning for Global Finals 2021 will continue to evolve, as we continually assess conditions, with confidence that teams will have the opportunity to present their Team Challenge solutions and compete globally.

 3 Your kids will grow and transform

Whether you’re a parent or an educator, you know that DI offers an experience through which—as one parent told us—kids find their superpowers. Quiet children come alive performing. Kids who like things their way realize how much better their ideas are with input from their teammates. And if your child hasn’t found his or her niche yet? No problem. DI introduces kids to a wide range of ideas, skills, and techniques while solving Challenges their way.

The DI Challenge Experience has always been about preparing our children to engage with new ideas, overcome obstacles, and adapt within an ever-changing world. Our current circumstances are the real-world test of these skills. This year, a successful Challenge season will include teams navigating the unexpected with resilience, innovation, and good spirits.

This valuable philosophy of DI definitely will not change.  

Learn More

Learn more about the 2020-21 season on our new FAQ page or Start a Team today.

Thank You!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate the creative learning landscape due to COVID-19. We look forward to you joining us for a new and exciting season of Destination Imagination!


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