Some I’ve won.  

Some I’ve placed just behind the winner.

Many I’ve lost – including the last one.

Whatever the case…. I’ve kept coming back for more.  There is something about the lure of a competition that I find difficult to deny.

For one thing, it’s the clarity, that keeps me hooked.  It’s the clarity of:

– The finishing line or goal (i.e winning) 

– The means to achieve that goal (i.e rules and training)

It’s as if someone has already done the thinking and the hard work and laid out the path.  All you need to do now is to traverse it.  

Yes it can be difficult, but then anything worthwhile is.  The challenge can be severe, but then it can be oh so rewarding!  

Of course if it is in the subject you love, then it’s just fun all the way.  

Secondly, competitions nurture competitive spirit and this brings out the best in a person.  

As one gets closer to the end, one displays strength one doesn’t even know he possesses.  You muster the last grey matter cell, adrenaline peaks like never before and you push yourself to your limits (and beyond).

Hence, regardless of the result you always come out faster, smarter, stronger than you started.  

So when ILM Parents (Raghuram and Baliga) introduced us to Destination Imagination Tournament, we LOVED the idea.

The topics were so fascinating.  The learning was immense!  We immediately got busy and to work.  

What is Destination Imagination?

Destination Imagination (DI) is this really cool volunteer-led organisation based in USA.

It’s goal is to equip students with:

– 21st century skills (such as Presentation, Public Speaking) 

– and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) principles.

DI does this by setting up highly creative and collaborative problem solving Challenges and Tournaments. 

What is a Challenge?  

A Destination Imagination Team Challenge is an open-ended project that teams work on over an extended period of time.

Usually 2-4 months.  

Through the Challenge program, students experience the full spectrum of creative processes – right from imagining the solution to innovating and creating it.  Doing so they pick up invaluable skills of communication, project management, perseverance, creative and critical thinking, and self-confidence.

And the challenges aren’t watered down versions of tasks that may be entrusted to adults. They respect the fact that children are just as capable as their older peers and can achieve great things if they set their minds to it.

For example in the Engineering Challenge, students have to:

– Design, build and test a freestanding structure that can withstand impacts from dropped weights.

For the Service Challenge, students must:

– Identify, design, carry out, and evaluate a project that addresses a need in a real community.

You can get more details about all the challenges complete with video overviews here.

To reward students for their hard work and for a sense of completion, teams go head to head in the regional finals that are generally held in one of the metros.

Last year, it was held at Chennai.

Come April, the winning team will represent India at the finals in US.

Teams from ILM:

Proud to say that ILM has THREE teams participating in this novel exercise!  

Our pre-primary entrants are:

Team 1: ILM Rising Stars -1


Sankar Samiyappan


Ananth Dharmaraju
Saud Aslam Sheriff
K Anusree
S Sanvitha
Hamna Faizal
Ziyaam Nizaamuddin E
Rishabh Singhvi

Their Challenge is called, Friends Everywhere.

As a part of their challenge they have to Explore Different cultures by:

– Creating and presenting a play that tells a story about 2 different cultures.
– Presenting similarities and differences between the 2 cultures.
– Designing and building props that will transform and be used in 2 different ways.
– Creating costumes and scenery to help tell the story

The countries they have picked are India and Bhutan.

Team 2: ILM Rising Stars -2


Dr Noor Asma Anjum


Aaniya Maryam
Safiya Anum
Lihaan Ahamed Samiuddin
Zuha Iram Inamdar

They have also chosen to work with Friends Everywhere but the cultures they are covering are Indian and Japanese.

Team 3: ILM Elementary 


Ashif Panakkat


Faiz Aslam Sheriff
Nuha Faizal
Maryam Fatima Vakil
Dia Zuhra Panakkat
Mohammed Saud
Akshath Suresh
Ananya Suresh

Their undertaking is an Engineering Challenge called the Drop Zone.

Little ILM science enthusiasts will have to:

-Design, build and test a freestanding structure that can withstand impacts from dropped weights.

– Tell a story about a sudden event with dramatic impact.

– Design and create a visible or audible depiction of the story’s sudden event.

For the past few months both teams have been meeting regularly – brainstorming, building and fine-tuning their presentations for the upcoming competition in Chennai.  

We will try and post their progress regularly on the ILM Montessori Blog.  Meanwhile, enjoy some behind-the-scene pictures and videos of the preparations.

Pin it to win it.

Hard at work

Teamwork does it.

All decked up.

Love thy neighbor.