Instant Challenge Teamwork

Its now weeks but not months to the regional tournament and by this time I’m thinking every team is putting the finishing touches on their solutions. OK maybe not. They will get there however so hang in there, take plenty of pictures and reread the Rules of the Road.

As a regional and affiliate Instant Challenge Master, IC is near and dear to my heart and so I’ll pass on some of my thoughts on IC teamwork. First is to remind TMs that the best way to get good at IC is to practice ICs. All different kinds. We do not tailor the IC type we give at the tournament to the Team Challenge one way or the other. The only guarantee is that every team at the same level (elem, middle, secondary) doing the same Challenge gets the same IC in front of the same Appraiser team.

Every IC has teamwork as a scored element. The Travel Guide for Teams has the rubric that the Appraisers are given on how to score teamwork. A lot of TMs try to force roles on the team and that will work, I guess, so long as the team members are truly OK with them. My experience was that the best situation is where any team member can find them self leading depending on the IC. While not likely to happen with a first year team, it is a goal to shoot for.

The biggest problem new and especially younger teams have is simply not following the directions. The team gets a copy of the Challenge to refer to during the solution time. A good job for someone who feels that ICs are too fast and hectic is the “lawyer” who rereads the Challenge and makes sure the team’s solution is, in fact, solving that Challenge.

Timekeeper is another role. The timekeeper’s job is to keep the team current on the time left. Teams may not use timekeeping devices so the timekeeper must ask the appraiser for, “how much time?” The appraiser will not (unless the challenge says to) give the team any time warnings.

Now if you’ve read this far you get my Secret Teamwork Tip or STT. It is my suspicion that many if not most Appraisers mistake enthusiasm for teamwork. Teams that have genuine enthusiasm generally get good teamwork scores. There is perhaps good reason for this since teams with good teamwork have more fun with an IC than teams with bad teamwork regardless of the success or failure of their solution.

I used to tell my team’s that they couldn’t control what kind of Challenge they’d get, what materials they’d get (if any) or how much time they’d get to solve a Challenge. The one thing they could control was how well they work together as a team.

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Interference 

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Introduce the Challenges

Instant Challenge – The Instant Challenge portion of the DI competition is a chance for your team to show off its creative problem solving skills as they work together and “think on their feet” in a very short time frame to solve a problem. ICs are usually 5-10 minutes long.

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The Destination Imagination (DI) Experience!

Destination Imagination (DI) is a global program that promotes problem solving, teamwork, and creativity in students. Teams of up to seven students choose a challenge to work creatively and collaboratively to find a solution. Teams present their team challenge solutions by performing a skit in front of an audience and appraisers. The team challenges emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). In addition, the DI experience exposes students to instant challenges that give students practice in rapid thinking, design, planning, and executing. In DI, the solution belongs to the team members and the team members alone. All ideas, scenery, scripts, and props are created by the team members. No one outside the team may help in any way with the solution to the challenge. Team members sign a contract prior to every tournament stating that the solution is theirs and no one outside the team helped. Rising Stars teams have modified guidelines for interference rules.

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Review your Resources 

Review Program Materials 

Your membership number allows access to the challenge program materials which are available for download . As soon as you purchase a team number you may download your Challenge Materials from MyCALDI

  • Team Challenge Previews 
    • Use these to help your Team choose their challenge
      • Challenge Previews
      • Challenge Preview Videos  
      • First Look Documents
  • Roadmap
    • Roadmap is a Team Manager resource developed to assist you in guiding your team members as they design and execute a Challenge solution. Section three (Guiding Your Team) explains the roles you will fill as a Team Manager, gives examples of how to begin solving a Challenge, introduces project management, and provides example meeting agendas. Section three will also point you to other resources available in Roadmap.
  • Rules of the Road
    • Rules of the Road is a document that contains all of the rules, procedures, and some of the forms required to participate in a Team Challenge at a tournament. Regardless of the Team Challenge a team has selected, it is very important for the team members to review Rules of the Road to learn the details of the Challenge experience, to prepare for tournaments, and to make sure the Team Challenge solution complies with rules and procedures found in Rules of the Road.
  • Team Challenge Materials
    • As soon as your Team has chosen their challenge, download a copy of the full team challenge

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    • Meetings can be held at the home of the Team Manager, but can also be held elsewhere at parent’s homes, school or community rooms.
    • Your team will need a space in which to store the materials they are using and the things (props, scenery, gadgets, costumes, etc.) that they make.

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Instant Challenge – How to Teach your Team

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Interference

Choose a Challenge

2-4 Weeks

Team Name Selection – DI Team names are often DI punny or unusual. Teams often choose creative names that relate to their challenge or presentation in some way or just make them laugh. Let the Team go wild with their choice.

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4-6 Weeks

Dissect a Challenge

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Research Information – the hardest for teams to complete is the research phase because many kids aren’t super interested in pushing through this drier part of the process. Make sure that everyone has a copy of the Challenge at each meeting and that they keep referring to the things that they have decided that they need to learn in order to solve the Challenge. Refine Ideas 

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Typical day at the Tournament

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IC Information

Teams need a basic understanding of what Instant Challenge is and what to expect. Start off by watching a video and then try a simple IC. Make it FUN!

IC Skills

Material Skills

Team Skills

Task Based Instant Challenges

General Information

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Tips & Tournament Preparation

Attend Region IC Events

Tips to Improve Team Scores

Instant Challenge Tournament Procedures

Paperwork

 

IC Basic Information

The Instant Challenge portion of the DI competition is a chance for your team to show off its creative problem solving skills as they work together and “think on their feet” in a very short time frame to solve a problem. ICs are usually 5-10 minutes long.

Basic Information

Teaching Information –

Teamwork

A team is a group of people, united by a common culture and purpose, who are cooperating to achieve quality results.

The challenge we have as Team Managers – helping kids develop healthy and effective interpersonal skills and processes so they can work cooperatively.

Teaching Teamwork

Teaching Listening Skills

Dealing with Team Conflict

IC Materials

Having a common vocabulary and a way to categorize the properties of the materials you have been given will allow your team to jump into the planning and executing stages of the Instant Challenge more easily. ​​

IC Training Plan

FUN is key!
If your team isn’t having fun they won’t master the skills! Be enthusiastic and crazy, help your team relax. You are their Cheerleader.

Promote a sense of camaraderie, and collaboration. Praise the kids when they take risks even if it doesn’t work. Teach them to learn from failure, embrace it and improve.

Training Guide

Teaching Information –

 

IC Tips & Tournament Prep

Tips and advice on ways to help your team  improve in Instant Challenge.

Start by attending the Instant Challenge workshops offered by your Region. These workshops  give your Team a chance to practice all the skills they’ve been learning in a non-competitive environment. It is FUN and helps teams figure out what they do well and what they need to work on before Tournament day

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