Team Choice Elements and the Improv Challenge

Team Choice Elements

When it comes to appraising Team Challenges, I really love to do Team Choice Elements because there is so much variety. I’ve seen teams with mediocre Central Challenges just blow us away with amazing Team Choice Elements and go on to the next level of competition. This is especially important in the more technical challenges where even a good structure design or vehicle can run afoul of “Murphy’s Law”.

If your team hasn’t already decided what their Team Choice Elements are going to be, now is probably a good time to at least think about it. If they decided early on, now is a good time to reevaluate and make sure they are still happy with the selections. Remember nothing is a Team Choice Element until the team says it is on the Tournament Data Form. If a team is struggling with a Team Choice Element or decide that some other aspect of their solution turned out amazing, they can change Team Choice Elements.

Remember also that there are three scoring elements to Team Choice Elements: Creativity, Execution, and Integration. One key part to the execution score is the amount of effort evident in creating the Team Choice Elements\. Remind your team of the scoring for Team Choice Elements and encourage them to think about what they can do to make their Team Choice Elements both creative and polished. Also, remind teams that integration of Team Choice Elements is an element of scoring and explain what that is if necessary.

Improv Challenge

The most fun I had as a Team Manager was the year I managed an Improv team. We played loads of improv games during the first part of the season and then I got to watch lots of different funny skits as we got closer to to the tournament. The key bit of advice I learned from that year is for teams to make creative and elaborate stuff during the 30 minute studio time and rely on improv skills to tell their story. The only way this works is for teams to practice improv techniques and construction techniques like crazy and learn to “force fit” the cool stuff that they can build into any situation they might encounter. They should also develop a story structure. For example, some of them set the scene, more enter to complicate matters and finally one (or more) person (who keeps time) comes in and resolves the situation just before time runs out.

As tournament time draws near, you’ll want to run your team through the process as outlined in the Rules of the Road. To avoid interference, clever TMs ask the team to write down surprise situations and so forth that they will be given at the beginning of studio time and then just before their performance. Have the team members individually write ideas down on individual pieces of paper now so that you can draw a random one when the time comes to practice like at the tournament.

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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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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

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  • 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.
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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

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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. ​​

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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.

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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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