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More than 1,200 student teams from forty-two states and fourteen countries will travel to UT next week for the Destination Imagination Global Finals. The competition will be held May 22 through 25.

Destination Imagination (DI), a nonprofit organization that provides learning opportunities to enrich the global community, will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary at Global Finals. This is the fourteenth year Knoxville has hosted the creative thinking and problem-solving competition for kindergarten through university-level students.

“We are busy preparing to host more than 14,000 visitors from around the world at Knoxville and the UT campus. It is an honor for our community to be selected year after year as the site for this prestigious event. I know first hand how DI changes lives and prepares students to succeed in our modern world,” said Robert Gibbs, executive director of UT Conferences and Noncredit Programs. “Our goal is to join with Destination Imagination to provide our visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Teams selected from more than 15,000 attempting to qualify will present the projects created during their regional competitions. In addition to the presentations, teams will compete in open-ended challenges during the week-long competition. Such challenges require teams to solve problems using a holistic approach of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge; improvisation; theater arts; writing; project management; communication innovation; teamwork; and community service.

In addition to the challenges, Global Finals will offer a glimpse at the future of technology at the Innovation Expo. This year’s Expo will feature twenty-three activities that include 3M’s Duct Tape Playground and Data Wind’s first US preview of the world’s least expensive tablet.

Founded in 1982, Destination Imagination has impacted more than a million students.

For more information, visit the Global Finals website.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,