Destination Imagination to Kick Off Global Finals 2019 with Actor and Author Chris Colfer

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The world’s most creative students will showcase innovative solutions at the international STEAM competition

More than 8,000 of the most creative students from 15-plus countries are advancing to the 20th annual Global Finals competition in Kansas City, Missouri from May 22-25, 2019, hosted by Destination Imagination (DI). Over the next few weeks, student finalists will be working hard to raise funds for a chance to showcase their top-scoring innovative solutions in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as fine arts, service learning and improvisation, at the world’s largest celebration of creativity.

With more than 1,300 teams now competing annually at Global Finals, Destination Imagination made the decision to move its event from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to Kansas City, Missouri to better accommodate its attendees, to provide a more centralized location for its many U.S. teams, and to give attendees the opportunity to customize their accommodations.

“Destination Imagination is absolutely thrilled that this year’s Global Finals event is in Kansas City,” said Michele Tuck-Ponder, Executive Director of Destination Imagination, Inc. “From an eclectic arts scene to world-class attractions, it’s an incredible city that offers something for all of our nearly 17,000 attendees, and we look forward to watching the next generation of creative problem solvers, leaders and innovators present their award-winning solutions there this May.”

Since the beginning of the school year, new and returning DI teams have enthusiastically presented their novel solutions at regional and affiliate (state or country) competition events in hopes of qualifying and competing at Global Finals. Team solutions were assessed by a panel of trained appraisers, ranging from educators to artists and engineers, and were scored on a variety of elements, including originality, workmanship, presentation and teamwork.

"We're excited to host so many bright, creative young people who will gather here in Kansas City to not only challenge themselves as individuals but work together and learn from each other while solving complex problems,” said Sly James, Kansas City Mayor. “Kansas City is pleased to host this year's Global Finals, and we can't wait for the students and families to enjoy our city."

This year’s Global Finals Welcome Ceremony will include a special appearance by Golden Globe-winning, Emmy and SAG Award nominated actor, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author, screenwriter and producer Chris Colfer, who participated in Destination Imagination as a teen.

Colfer will be the recipient of Destination Imagination’s first-ever Icon Award, which will be given annually to a Destination Imagination alumnus or alumna who has made a game-changing contribution to their industry and who inspires current DI participants to achieve anything they can do in life. The award will be presented by DI’s Alumni Council.

In addition to the tournament, Global Finals 2019 will feature daily and evening events designed to foster collaboration among teams around the world, including skills workshops, interactive exhibits from companies such as Space Camp, a duct tape fashion show, an ice cream social, and a special Graduation Ceremony for all high school and college students graduating this year.

For more information about Global Finals and to view the full agenda, visit

About Destination Imagination
Destination Imagination, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led non-profit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. The organization is a leader in project-based learning experiences, where students work together in teams to solve open-ended STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and service learning Challenges and then present their solutions at tournaments. Destination Imagination has impacted more than one million students. To learn more, please visit

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Tina Shaffer
Destination Imagination, Inc.
since: 11/2010
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