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The Destination Imagination Global Finals return to campus next week. This is the sixteenth year the event will be held in Knoxville.

Teams will begin checking in on Monday, May 23, with competition events running Wednesday, May 25, through Saturday, May 28.

The focus of the four-day event is fostering creativity and curiosity through hands-on challenges, camps, and workshops. More than 17,000 people including 8,000 student participants are expected to attend. This year’s competitors come from twenty countries, including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the Cayman Islands, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

DI events will be held in multiple locations on campus and in our area, including Knoxville Convention Center, World’s Fair Park, TRECS, HSS, and Thompson-Boling Arena.

Try DI, a public event, will be held from 10:00 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 28, in World’s Fair Park. At the event, teams will present their “Design Your Ford of the Future” prototypes to a panel of Ford representatives. Register to participate in the prototype challenge.

DI’s mission is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. The volunteer-led nonprofit organization teaches students the creative process through science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and arts and service-learning challenges. In its thirty years, more than 1.5 million kids have participated in DI events.

Closed team events begin the morning of Wednesday, May 25, and the 2016 Welcome Ceremony, including appearances by vocal pop group, The Exchange, and performance group, Step Afrika! begins at 7:15 p.m. that evening at Thompson-Boling Arena. Portions of Destination Imagination, include the opening ceremony, interviews with teams and sponsors, and coverage of daily events, will be broadcast via live stream. The closing ceremony will be at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, May 28, at the arena. To join the live Twitter chat during the ceremonies, follow Destination Imagination on Twitter @IDODI and use the hashtag #GlobalFinals16.

The Innovation Expo at the Knoxville Convention Center features exhibits by Ford, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Space Camp, National Geographic, Scholastic, and more.

Most DI events are closed to the public and require event passes. View a schedule of events online.

For more information, visit the Destination Imagination Global Finals website or e-mail