Last weekend, more than 2,200 people attended the third annual International Invitational, which was hosted by Destination Imagination Qatar and Al Faisal Without Borders (ALF).
The event kicked off with an extravagant Welcome Ceremony where Sheik Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of the ALF Board of Trustees, stressed the importance of global competency and creativity in education.
“The ALF Foundation had the opportunity to bring very talented and creative students to our country,” said Sheik Faisal. “They are able to learn more about our culture and this provided us an opportunity to reinforce the time and energy that these young people have invested in a mind-challenging competition that will better prepare them for high school and college.”
A total of 286 Qatari teams participated in the main tournament, showcasing their innovative solutions and performances to one of seven different Destination Imagination Team Challenges in technology, science, fine arts, improvisation, structural engineering, social entrepreneurship and early learning. Teams demonstrated the importance of teamwork, creativity, problem solving and innovation, while vying for a chance to qualify for Destination Imagination’s Global Finals, which takes place May 25-28, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Global Finals is the world’s largest celebration of student creativity, with teams from more than 15 countries participating in the event each year.
Twelve international teams from the United States, Poland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates also attended the event to participate in the Great Architectural Extreme Challenge developed by Destination Imagination headquarters. For the Extreme Challenge, teams were given a set of materials and had 24 hours to research, plan, design and build a model of a creativity and innovation center that was inspired by Qatari architecture and could withstand the winds of a simulated sandstorm. Teams were required to create a blueprint for their structure and also had the opportunity to participate in the Bartering Souq, where they could trade materials and work on their negotiation skills.
One team from Minnesota and one team from Poland tied for first place in the Extreme Challenge competition. A team from Poland was also awarded second place. Third place was awarded to a first-time Destination Imagination team from Saudi Arabia.
International teams participating in the event also had the opportunity to make new friends from around the world at the Buddy Team Meet & Greet, as well as test the latest technology, participate in hands-on science experiments, and speak with higher education institutions at the Innovation Expo. Organization including the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Mad Science, The Little Engineer, Youth Art Center and Stenden University Qatar participated in the Expo.
Destination Imagination is extremely proud of all of our teams who participated in this year’s International Invitational and would like to thank all of our volunteers from Destination Imagination, Inc. and Destination Imagination Qatar, as well as Al Faisal Without Borders, for their dedication and support of our programs to help students gain the 21st century skills needed to thrive in school, careers and beyond.