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fostering Creativity with destination imagination

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					fostering Creativity with destination imagination
Canada’s performance on innovation over the past three       “The kids have to do everything,” says Garriock. “We
decades rates a consistent “D.” Out of 17 developed           want this to be a kid’s learning experience—not a par-
countries it is rated as 13th in terms of innovation, ac-     ent’s learning experience.”
cording to the Conference Board of Canada’s Report
                                                             The challenges are posted in the fall and are in the fol-
Card on Canada, released in August.1.
                                                             lowing categories: Technical/Mechanical Design, Struc-
Roger Garriock believes that the foundation of innova-       tural/Architectural Design, Theatrical/Literary/Fine Arts,
tion is creativity and that there needs to be more of an     Scientific Exploration, and Improvisation.
emphasis on creativity and innovation in the K -12 cur-
                                                             The students choose one challenge to solve over eight
riculum.
                                                             to 12 weeks. The volunteers facilitate one hour per week
Garriock has worked with adults teaching workshops on        over this period. At the end of the period the students
innovation since he retired from a senior management         present their solutions to a group of appraisers. The com-
position at IBM eight years ago. The fees from these         petition is intense, but the program is designed so that all
workshops go to fund Destination ImagiNation (DI), a         children feel like winners.
volunteer-based not-for-profit which provides students
                                                             “At the end of every performance all the appraisers give
from K-12 with after-school facilitation to learn life
                                                              the students a standing ovation. No child ever goes home
skills they don’t learn in school.
                                                              in tears,” says Garriock.
The skills the children learn include communication,
                                                             DI divides the province into eight regions, so that virtu-
teamwork, research, thinking ‘outside the box,’ bud-
                                                             ally every part of the province can be involved. Last year
geting, and working with others. Skills also acquired
                                                             DI celebrated its 25th anniversary in BC.2.
include creative problem-solving and time management.
                                                             “In excess of 20 million children in BC have participated
DI does not teach students, but facilitates them to learn
                                                              in DI since it began,” said Garriock. “DI has experienced
by themselves by solving challenges in groups of seven.
                                                              a 30% compounded growth rate over the last three years.”
Volunteer facilitators are not allowed to take part in the
solution of the challenges the students tackle.              DI is international, operating in 42 nations worldwide,
                                                             but it is huge in the U.S. where it operates in virtually




8                                                                                                  www.bCCpaC.bC.Ca
every school, according to Garriock. He
said there are a total of 60,000 volunteers in
North America.
“The way some of these kids tackle the
 problems is exhilarating. They develop
 facilitation and presentation skills at the age
 of eight.”
Students tend to be most involved in DI in
grades four to eight, but the program also
has a program for children aged two to
seven called Rising Stars. And for adults
there is DIcor, the corporate consulting divi-
sion of DI which Garriock runs.
 The cost for a child to participate in DI is
 $30/year and the organization makes every
 effort to make the program accessible to all
 children in the province, according to Gar-             destination imagination participants at provincial competition.
 riock, who is not the only one singing the praises of DI.
                                                                 students to become confident innovators who can problem-
“DestiNation Imagination is the perfect complement to a          solve successfully and work cooperatively with others.
 sound education, giving kids the needed skills that will        They carry these valuable skills for the rest of their lives,”
 help make them better adults and definitely help them           said Marjatta Chapman Principal, Lac la Hache Elementary.
 become more employable. Every child in British Colum-
 bia should be given the opportunity to participate,” said       FOOTnOTes
 Marion Hunter Principal, Rosemont Elementary.                   1.       How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada. Confer-
“Destination ImagiNation has proven to be an outstanding                ence Board of Canada. August, 2009. http://www.conference-
 program which facilitates problem-solving, critical think-             board.ca/HCP/default.aspx
 ing, risk-taking and leadership skills development. DI helps
                                                                        2. You   can find out more about DI at http://bcdi.org/

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bCCpaC — Our VOiCe                                                                                                                       9

				
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