PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) is proud to continue their support of Destination Imagination (DI), a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition program for global youth ages 5-19. Destination Imagination is a Project Learning Network (PLN) member and a PMIEF grantee.
Each year, 200,000 students participate in the Team Challenge Program. Students tackle academic challenges in the fields of STEM, the arts, social entrepreneurship and early learning. Along the way, they develop a variety of valuable life skills: creativity, team building, problem solving, perseverance, and project management.
DI also hosts an annual conference. The 2016 Ignite Innovative Education Summit (Ignite) in Huntsville, Alabama, brought together a group of volunteers, teachers, and school leaders to discuss transformative education. This year’s attendees focused on “stimulating discussions around new and transformative education, professional development for educators and volunteers, and the exciting experiences of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, including the presence of several astronauts, VIPs and NASA educators, ” according to the DI website.
During the conference, PMIEF Programs Supervisor Chonnie Blair and Programs Administrator Diane Fromm delivered an educational session about the value of project management for students, teachers and mentors.
Session participants learned how project management knowledge can be a tool for students in managing their own classroom projects, as well as be an asset to teachers and mentors in managing the competitive process. Attendees participated in interactive exercises and shared their challenges and successes as they helped students triumph and learn through the competitions. PMIEF staff also shared about the PMIEF Learning Resources Library filled with no-cost resources for educators.
Session attendees were excited to learn that project management has already been integrated into the Destination Imagination Roadmap to support students’ success. Among the feedback was a consensus that project management is not only an asset within the DI competition but also valuable outside of DI in more traditional educational settings.
The benefits of project management have already reached the students through the curriculum integration. “One of the most important skills students can learn through participating in a DI Challenge is project management,” said Chuck Cadle, CEO of Destination Imagination. As a result of the DI Ignite Innovative Education Summit, teachers and DI volunteers also were able to grow their project management knowledge and awareness.