Destination Imagination

***registration info located at bottom of page.

Destination Imagination is a project-based, 100% student-led, team competition.

Groups of 5-7 students (Kindergarten – University Level) utilize the applications of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). DI is an experiential system of learning that cultivates champions’ creative and critical thinking skills, and provides them with collaborative problem solving experience. As a result, our champions learn patience, flexibility, perseverance, as well as ethics. 

Teams meet weekly, creating a solution to one of DI’s six STEAM based central challenges. Regardless of the the challenge they choose, all solutions are presented in the format of a dramatic play. This play is presented on stage to a panel of appraisers, as well as parents and other tournament attendees .

In addition to their central challenge, teams also compete in an Instant Challenge. These challenges are typically task-based, timed, and are not revealed until the tournament. Instant Challenges are scored on both solution, as well collaboration, and account for 25% of a teams total score.

Destination Imagination is a global organization. Each year DI impacts more than 150,000 students, 38,000 volunteers, in 45+ states, across 30 countries.

Logistics you need to know:

  • Every team must have at least one parent manager. ICI will not provide any staff to manage teams.
  • Every parent is expected to volunteer in some capacity. This is an “all hands on deck” community. Although some parents can not make the weekly commitment to manage a team, there are many other ways to offer support. Some of these tasks include setting up instant challenges for managers, volunteering and appraising at the state tournament, and providing prop storage and alternative construction meeting locations.
  • Teams meet weekly from October-mid March. Most teams meet on campus after school or during late start on Wednesday mornings. Also, you should expect to have additional construction meetings at an alternative location. Most teams will have 4-8 additional weekend construction meetings starting in December or January. It is imperative that all team members commit to these construction events. Additionally, ICI can not provide prop storage for teams. Materials will need to be stored off site.
  • Teams are broken down into the following grade-level groups: k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. However, a child may compete on an older team, but not a younger one.
  • 2019-2020 initial parent cost is $115. This includes team registration, state tournament fee, manager background checks conducted by DI headquarters, and an ICI tournament t-shirt. If a team advances to Global Finals, and chooses to attend, there will be additional cost to families. ICI will be conducting fundraisers throughout the year to help offset this cost. However, parents should anticipate additional fees if attending Global Finals. Please email if your child needs a scholarship or partial scholarship for this fee.
  • Your initial fee does not cover any materials for your challenge solution. However, Destination Imagination is focused on creating solutions with garbage, recyclables, found objects, and anything else you can imagine…. Think duck tape, cardboard, and construction scraps. Free is best! Each team has to provide a cost sheet at the tournament detailing every dollar spent. Each challenge has an individual monetary ceiling.
  • The state tournament will be held March 14, 2020 in Burke County. Expect about an hour drive from Asheville. All team members must attend. 
  • Global Finals will be held in Kansas City, MO.

Team Expectations for Parents and Students:

Please understand that parent volunteers pour their heart, soul, and endless hours into these projects. Managing a team where members do not meet these expectations just makes their job infinitely harder!

  • All team members are expected to arrive on time for meetings and stay through their entirety.
  • All team members are expected to participate in the additional weekend construction meetings.
  • All parents are expected to engage with communications sent by team managers.
  • All Champions are expected to adhere to the IC Imagine behavior standards for within the classroom.
  • Failure to meet these expectations may result in dismissal from the program.

For additonal information: Send an email to or check out

2019/2020 team registration is now open from August 28th-September 15th!!! Teams will begin meeting after Fall break. 

Step 1: Follow the link below to register.

Step 2: Log into your orgsonline school account to pay your $115 fee. Click on “Special Orders” and search for Destination Imagination. School Code: 393ICINC