top of page


Helpful Information

How Does DI Work?

School-aged children work in teams from 2 to 7 members to solve long-term Challenges and practice Instant Challenges. The most important thing to remember is that this program is student-driven! There is absolutely no outside help allowed. Team Managers are there to supervise, provide resources and teach skills, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. The Team Members generate the ideas, execute the ideas, and plan a performance showcasing their ideas.

What Types of Challenges are there?

  • Technical

  • Scientific

  • Fine Arts

  • Improvisational

  • Engineering

  • Service Learning

  • Rising Stars, our non-competitive early learning Challenge for students in K-2

  • Instant Challenge

How much time does DI take?

The DI season begins on September 1, with the release of that season’s Challenges, and ends with the State Tournament in the spring. Most Team Managers start in the late fall, but some don’t begin until January. The average Team Manager meets once a week for 2 to 3 hours, and as the tournament approaches the team may decide to add additional practice time. The time requirement may vary by age, challenge chosen, and the competitive ambitions of the team.

Teams placing first in the State Tournament will have the option to advance to Global Finals at the end of May.

How much does NMDI cost?

Team Membership

Type of Membership Price

   Competitive Challenge Materials $110 National Registration +$40 for a background check + $75 Affiliate Fee =$225 per team (if you are managing multiple teams you only need to purchase the background check once)


Practice and Challenge Materials/Supplies

Average of $250, DI emphasizes using inexpensive materials.

State Tournament Registration


Regional T-shirts and Pins

$30/team member

Global participation will increase this cost.

How can my child get involved?

DI relies on volunteers to establish teams in their neighborhood or school.

Many schools and school districts support DI through school coordinators who assist in the formation of teams. DI works differently than most after-school programs; instead of signing up your child through a centralized location, parents interested in DI must form a team and recruit a volunteer team manager. All students may participate in DI as long as they have a Team Manager! There are no try-outs, no ability requirements, just the desire to work with your team to solve Challenges.

What do I need to become a team manager?

  • Enjoyment in working with children

  • Patience

  • Curiosity

  • Meeting/Work space at a home or school

  • Ability to believe that team members can solve the problem

  • Tolerant of student’s work styles and pacing

  • Recognize that conflict is part of finding a creative solution

How do I form a team?

Once you have selected a DI Team Manager, you need to find a team. Teams are formed by finding students that are interested in DI. How do you find these students?

1. Friends of your Student
2. Ask your child’s teacher for names of students that would like DI
3. Send out a flyer to students in the grade levels that will be on your team
4. If you have one, meet with the GT coordinator of your school for help forming a team

Teams are formed with 2 to 7 students, most often in the same school and grade level. However, ANY 7 students can be a team! You can form teams in your neighborhood, homeschool association, school, or church.

bottom of page