Destination Imagination

Team Update "What NOT To Do" - October 2, 2017

Posted: October 2, 2017 by Mr. Sparks

Week 3 of LMEDI has begun, and our team, "What NOT To Do", has lots of info to share!

  • The team was given an official copy of their team challenge today. It is CRUCIAL that everyone reads and re-reads their challenge in order to understand the scope and requirements of their activity. Because our team's success relies on completion of every requirement of the challenge, the students will soon be given a random quiz on the various details included in the team challenge packet. :)
  • More information regarding fundraisers is coming soon. We are awaiting word on district approval before we can proceed. Once I receive word, I will relay information to the students and we can proceed from there.
  • Thank you to families that have donated snacks for the kids to enjoy during team meetings after school. If you have not yet signed up to bring snacks, please do so by clicking here. Your kindness is very much appreciated! :)
  • ALERT! The Destination Imagination Regional Tournament is on Saturday, February 17th. Please note that this mandatory event is being held on President's Day weekend. The event is not being rescheduled, so please plan on having your child attend the tournament on Saturday, February 17th. If you anticipate a schedule conflict, please notify Mr. Sparks NOW so that we can make other arrangements for your child's participation.
  • Team Shopping for materials will occur on Saturday, October 28. We will meet at 9:00am at the Home Depot at 2551 S Interstate 35, Round Rock, Texas 78664 (I-35 and Toll Road 45/La Frontera area). From there, we will also visit Michael's and/or Hobby Lobby, and if necessary, Target, since they are all within 1 mile of one another. Please mark your calendars accordingly.
  • The Super Saturday Student Skills Workshop is on Saturday, November 11! This event is an opportunity for our team to participate in mini-skills workshops on skills necessary to solve our team challenge. Workshops that will be presented will cover topics such as costume design, dumpster diving, team building, technology integration, stage presence, set design, etc. As a team, we will select 4 topics to attend. This event will be held at Teravista Elementary School at 4419 Teravista Club Drive, Round Rock, TX 78665 (approximately 2.5 miles west of IKEA). We will meet outside the school at 8:30am for check-in. The workshop will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 12:15pm. Since Mr. Sparks will be presenting this day, a parent volunteer is needed to escort the team to the different workshop rotations. If you are interested in helping, please email Mr. Sparks by clicking here.
  • The Instant Challenge Workshop will be held on Saturday, December 2nd. The location is not yet known, however, it will likely be held at a Leander ISD school. This workshop will provide students exposure to competitive level instant challenge activities, and they will be given feedback from current/former appraisers. This practice, beyond our typical practice at team meetings, is crucial to our success in understanding the difficulty level of the challenges our team may be given at the Regional Tournament. We will attend from 3pm to 5pm on this day. As soon as a location is announced, it will be announced here.
  • A Fall Team Social will be held sometime in November. Mr. Sparks is currently working out the logistics and details for this. This will likely be either November 11 (after Super Saturday) or November 18, and will likely involve lunch and a trip to the movies. If you have a preference of day, please let me know.

Thanks again for everything! Please be in touch if anything comes up!

-Zach Sparks

Team Name, Challenge Chosen By LMEDI 4th/5th Grade Team

Posted: September 21, 2017 by Mr. Sparks

After an eventful second team meeting, several line items were discussed by the team!

  • We discussed several fundraising ideas, and our reasons for fundraising (to build funds for possible travel to the state/affiliate tournament and/or Global Finals, additional team activities, and to help support fellow RRISD Destination Imagination teams in need).
    • Possible Fundraising Ideas: Breakfast for Teachers (Breakfast Biscuits, Breakfast Tacos on Fridays to sell to faculty); a food stand at the Fall Carnival; an after-school lemonade/snack stand; a DI/Instant Challenge feature night.
    • Mr. Sparks will speak to Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Sapp about fundraising ideas and return to Monday's team meeting with more information.
  • Our community service project was also discussed. Students were shown the Generation Share (formerly known as Little Helping Hands) website ( and we reviewed the service project offerings.
    • The team decided on interests in helping a pet shelter; volunteering at Ronald McDonald House; and/or helping with a food bank-type service for the needy. Because Generation Share releases their October schedule on Tuesday, September 26, Mr. Sparks will sign up the team for a community service project for October. More information to come on this next week.
    • We also discussed wanting to volunteer during the holiday season for kids at Dell Children's Medical Hospital. Mr. Sparks will revisit this project idea later in October.
  • Silent Color Maze was the name of our practice instant challenge today. The students had to split up into two groups- one group had to nonverbally direct students in the other group on where to place colored place cards inside a square matrix. Be sure to ask your child about this fun (and popular) instant challenge! :)
  • Team names brainstormed from Monday's meeting were reviewed, and a team name was voted on and agreed upon by the entire team. This year's team will be WHAT NOT TO DO. :-)
  • The team challenge options were voted on again today from the final three options (decided on Monday). The team had to select the Fine Arts, Improvisational, or the Project Outreach challenge, and on a 5-3-0 vote, this year's team has selected the.............FINE ARTS CHALLENGE: Change of Tune. For information on this challenge, please watch the preview video here:

What's coming up next week:

    • Mr. Sparks will bring back more information regarding fundraisers and the October service project to Monday's team meeting.
    • The team will begin brainstorming ideas for their team challenge by creating an idea board.
    • Mr. Sparks will gather more information regarding a fellow buddy team we can pair with in Round Rock ISD, and announce that information at a team meeting.
    • Appreciation project ideas will be discussed for LME staff members that support our team.
    • More instant challenge practice- including a guest appraiser. (Who will it be???)

Thanks for a terrific and eventful first week! Can't wait for what's coming next!

-Mr. Sparks

LMEDI Day One in the Books!

Posted: September 18, 2017 by Mr. Sparks

Our first team meeting was quite the success! To recap, here's what happened today:

  • We introduced our team of 4th and 5th graders, and discussed exactly what Destination Imagination is!
  • We reviewed all 6 team challenge options:
    • Engineering: DROP ZONE
    • Fine Arts: CHANGE OF TUNE
    • Improv: TREASURE!
    • Project Outreach/Service Learning: INSIDE IMPACT
    • Technical: MAZE CRAZE
      • Video previews of all six challenge options for this season can be viewed by clicking here.
  • We discussed pros and cons of each challenge and conducted two rounds of voting. Our final three challenge choices are:
    • Fine Arts: CHANGE OF TUNE
    • Improv: TREASURE!
    • Project Outreach/Service Learning: INSIDE IMPACT
  • Final challenge voting will occur at Thursday's team meeting! (This is a change from my announcement at today's team meeting- will discuss with the team on Thursday.)
  • We brainstormed team name options - lots of fun, hilarious and nifty names. We will have preliminary team name voting on Thursday.
  • We briefly talked about our fundraising and community service projects today. We will discuss these in greater detail on Thursday. In the meantime, have your student begin thinking about fundraising options (possible ideas: food options, coin drives, an Instant Challenge/STEAM night fundraiser, etc.) so that they can bring ideas to Thursday's meeting. Our goal is to submit a fundraiser request by week's end to the front office!
  • We practiced an Instant Challenge today- the team used various items to build two props to present a skit about an animal. I definitely enjoyed the team's take on the "Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed"- hilariousness! We will also begin refining expectations for Instant Challenge on Thursday.
  • In the meantime, I will post a weekly "Mini-Instant Challenge" for your child to attempt at home. My goal is for your child to begin practicing skills that he/she can bring to our team meetings. Our first Mini-Instant Challenge is called Water Mover. Your child will need 2 cups of the same size, one filled approximately 1/2 with water, and a straw (preferably one that does not bend). With both hands behind the back and the straw placed on the table, your child is to pick up the straw not using hands and move as much of the water from the filled cup to the empty cup in 2 minutes. Looking forward to hearing all about strategies and possible solutions next Monday!
  • If you have not submitted payment for the Destination Imagination registration fee, please do so no later than Wednesday at 12noon.
  • I am excited to work with this fantastic group of learners, innovators, and creative problem solvers! As always, please email, call/text if you need anything at all. Be on the lookout for team meeting photos to appear on my Twitter account after Thursday's meeting. You can follow me at:!

Wishes for an outstanding week to everyone! :)

-Mr. S :)

LMEDI starts tomorrow (September 18th)!!

Posted: September 17, 2017 by Mr. Sparks

The 4th/5th grade LMEDI team will have their first team meeting tomorrow in my classroom. Students will be directed by their homeroom teachers to meet me in the gym after the dismissal bell rings. I will pick them up in the gym and bring them to my classroom.

A couple of reminders - please have your child bring a snack or two to enjoy tomorrow after school! Our team meetings will end at 4:30, and we will meet in the front of the school in the car rider area/office area shortly thereafter. Parents are always welcome to attend any of our after-school team meetings- let me know if you'd like to drop in to see what all we are doing! If you have any questions or need anything, please call/text me at the cell number provided to you in email.

Looking forward to day one of our adventure tomorrow! :)

-Mr. S

Announcement: We will have TWO LMEDI teams this year!

Posted: August 29, 2017

I am so EXCITED to announce that we will have two LMEDI teams this year! Along with our established competitive team of 4th and 5th grade students, we have been able to form a 1st/2nd grade Rising Stars (non-competitive) team to join us on our journey this year!

Miss Chelsea Skinner (4th Grade LME Teacher) and Mr. Sparks will co-lead the LMEDI-RS (LME Destination Imagination-Rising Stars) team!

As a result, Miss Skinner and Mr. Sparks would like to have a parent meeting (invite sent by email) with our Rising Stars parents this Friday (Sept. 1) at 3:45pm in Mr. Sparks's classroom. There, we will cover program expectations, schedule/calendar, team meeting days, parent responsibilities and provide information on the upcoming Kickoff Party (happening September 9th!).

We are glad to have you all on board this year- it will be fantastic! :)

LMEDI Summer Info

Posted: August 2, 2017

At the Bowling/Laser Tag Party on July 29, parents were provided a handout with a program overview as well as a tentative calendar. You can find an electronic copy by clicking on this link. Please note that the calendar is tentative, and a final calendar will be provided to students/parents in September.

Welcome to LMEDI (Laurel Mountain Destination Imagination) 2017-2018!

Posted: July 21, 2017

Welcome to another new year of Destination Imagination! I am VERY excited to be again serving as the DI Coordinator here at Laurel Mountain. I have previously coached a team, served as a volunteer, an appraiser at competitions, and most recently, a challenge writer. With another year coming up, I wanted to share some early news on the 2017-18 team!

For the 2017-18 school year, you can expect the following:

  • The 2017-18 LME Destination Imagination team will comprise of 4th and 5th graders, including returning team members from the 2016-17 year.
  • Team meetings will be twice a week, starting the week of September 18, 2017, on Mondays and Thursdays (with a few exceptions) until 4:30 after school in Mr. Sparks' classroom.
  • The LME DI Season Kickoff Party is scheduled for Saturday, September 9th from 10:30am to 12:30pm. This will include activities for students, their parents and/or their siblings! Stay tuned for more information coming via email.
  • We will have two fall fundraiser activities to assist in building funds for possible future competitions, as well as to assist our fellow DI teams in Round Rock ISD.
  • We will participate in a team community service project throughout the fall.
  • Some Saturday team meetings, including participation in student workshops (such as "Super Saturday"), supply shopping days, and challenge preparation will be planned.
  • You can begin reviewing the 2017-18 DI Challenge Overviews by clicking here!

Please feel free to email Mr. Sparks at if you have any questions or need further information! Enjoy your summer!

(Updated on July 21, 2017)


10111 D-K Ranch Road

Austin, Texas 78759

Office: 512.464.4300