Imagine This: Students Host 5,000-plus for
Destination ImagiNation State Meet at UT Dallas

April 10, 2007

A team of more than 30 UT Dallas undergraduate students will host the Destination ImagiNation (DI) state meet this weekend in an event that is expected to attract more than 5,000 elementary through high school aged children and their families, friends and supporters to campus. 

Approximately 280 DI teams from 16 regions throughout Texas will participate in the tournament.  The state competition is in a different region each year, and students from UT Dallas’ DI teams were instrumental in bringing the event to campus, although they will not compete in the meet.  Instead, they, along with other student and faculty volunteers, will judge events, coordinate schedules, organize venues and assist with team registrations.  The UT Dallas DI program is lead by Gina Felts, a student advisor at the university.

“Our students showed initiative and determination in bringing the state tourney to campus,” Felts said.  “Their passion for DI and their dedication to helping kids succeed in academics, develop strong team skills and cultivate imaginations shines, particularly as they’ve put together this contest.  I’m proud of their efforts.”

DI is a community-based program that builds participants’ creativity, problem solving and teamwork skills.  Teams include five to seven members who work together to solve their choice of five challenges, each of which tests a different skill.  Team challenges are designed to be open-ended and solvable in many ways and on many levels.

For this year’s meet, teams will attend a mixer and pin trading party on the mall of the UT Dallas campus on the evening of April 13.  The daylong competition will begin at 8 a.m. on April 14 and take place at various locations around the university.

“Our DI program is honored to host the state meet — it’s something we’ve been working on for more than a year,” said Benedict Voit, a UT Dallas DI team member.  “We’re ready for the thousands of kids coming to campus, and I think we’re just as enthusiastic and excited as they are about having a successful and fun competition.”

The closing ceremony will be at Loos Field House, located at 3815 Spring Valley Rd. in Dallas.  First and second place winners will advance to the global tournament that will take place at the University of Tennessee May 22-26.  Because of their small numbers, collegiate teams are automatically invited to global finals, so the UT Dallas program will compete at that event.

The five categories for the 2006-2007 DI team challenges are:

  • DIrect Flight, in which contestants are asked to design and construct one or more aircraft that will fly to one of several landing zones. They also will design and construct up to three elevators that will raise and release the aircraft and randomly select “test flight” cards and conduct test flights of the aircraft as described on the cards.
  • CSI: DI, where participants develop and present an original story about the investigation of a case, including the supporting evidence and the resolution of the case.
  • Round About Courage, which involves competitors presenting a theatrical performance of a team-created story about a heroic adventure.  The story must include a hero who overcomes a personal challenge and integrate one or more technical set pieces or props.
  • Switching TraDItions, where students create an original skit at the tournament.  Prior to the event, the team is responsible for researching six different nations and their traditions, choosing three to integrate into the skit.
  • Card-DI-ology, where contestants are asked to design, build and test a structure made completely of playing cards, with or without glue.  The teams are also tasked with creating an architectural drawing of the structure, creating and presenting a story about the impact any card or cards has on a character in the story.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at

Contact Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]
UT Dallas DI Advisor: Gina Felts, 469-450-9013
UT Dallas DI Student Contact: Benedict Voit, (214) 693-6743

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May 25, 2018