Makerspace & STEAM Learning Activity – Destination Imagination

boys & girls clubs

Destination Imagination (DI) is a non-profit experiential learning organization dedicated to preparing students for the future through hands-on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) and social entrepreneurship Challenges. Students work together in teams to solve one of our seven Challenges and then have the opportunity to showcase their solutions at tournaments. At the culmination of our Destination Imagination season, top-tiered teams from around the world earn a spot to compete at Global Finals – the world’s largest celebration of creativity. This year’s Global Finals was held May 24-27, 2017 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and was supported by innovative, forward-thinking companies including Ford Motor Company.

Like Destination Imagination, Ford recognizes the power of inspiring the next generation of thinkers, creators and collaborators. For the past two years, Destination Imagination has partnered with Ford STEAM Experience to create Try DI events around the country to introduce more students to the Destination Imagination system of learning. This year, we chose to bring Try DI to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley the week before our annual Global Finals event. Our goal was to give back to the Knoxville community and introduce them to the Destination Imagination experience. On May 19, approximately 800 kids from 11 Boys & Girls Clubs in the Knoxville area came together at The Haslam Family Club University for an afternoon of STEAM-based learning activities.

boys & girls club activity

S&S Worldwide was an integral part of the success of this event. For the main challenge, students worked in groups to reimagine a Ford Vehicle of the Future and design and build a prototype of their re-imagined vehicle. This Ford vehicle could be a vehicle you drive, an autonomous vehicle, an electric vehicle, or other mobility solution that looks like nothing anyone has ever seen before. Students then had to pitch their vehicle to a panel of Destination Imagination board members and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley staff members. Students had 40 minutes and the following materials from S&S to use to create their vehicles.

boys & girls clubs

S&S Worldwide was essential to our Try DI success by prepacking our challenge materials to make it easy for us to have a fresh set of materials for each group to work with. Sandy Cervini worked with us to pick the right products for this challenge. She even tried out various scissors to make sure they would cut the cardboard box easily. Having 200 prepackaged challenge kits saved us valuable time and allowed us to dedicate more time to working with the Boys & Girls Club staff to ensure a wonderful learning experience for their students.

“We believe, and we hope, that the kids [at our Try DI event] will have an experience that they wouldn’t ordinarily have in their schools or wouldn’t ordinarily have in their personal lives. An experience that allows them to see that they can be creative, they can be courageous, and they can be curious. That they can move from imagination to innovation.” – Stephan Turnipseed, Destination Imagination Executive Vice President

boys & girls clubs

From the photos you can tell that our mission was accomplished!

destination imaginationAbout the Author:

Melissa Frey is the Northeast Territory Manager for Destination Imagination. She works with Affiliate Directors from Maine to Virginia to bring the Destination Imagination Experience to students and local school districts. She has been working with DI since 2010 in roles ranging from Team Manager to Challenge Appraiser before becoming a Territory Manager in November. She earned a Master of Arts degree from Hofstra University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Before coming to Destination Imagination, Ms. Frey worked as a Middle School Language Arts teacher and a Jewish Educator.

For more information about Destination Imagination, you can email Melissa at: [email protected]

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