To keep it simple, DIers build awesome stuff and act.
To keep it not so simple, Destination Imagination is a competitive problem-solving activity. Every year, teams tackle new challenges which demand innovation in dramatic and technical exercises. The challenges each team can solve range from including many technical elements, such as building a device that propels itself along a stage, to including many dramatic elements, such as having to present a solution in which none of the characters are allowed to speak, as well as a mix of both, requiring both creative and effective storytelling as well as technical devices. Teams present their solutions in the form of a timed skit, which they rehearse and perfect over the course of many weeks.
Teams compete at a regional, state, and global level, and in order for a team to move from one competition to the next, they must place first in their challenge and age group. Over Gonzaga Prep DI history, 7 teams have attended global finals, and for 3 years in a row (2012-2013, 2014-2015, and 2015-2016), Prep teams competed at global finals!
Along with the larger, central challenge, teams are required to compete in an Instant Challenge, where the parameters of the problem are presented on the spot, and the team members have no idea about what they have to do. Just like the central challenge, ICs can require building structures, acting in skits, or communicating in interesting and unconventional ways. Since teams are only given minutes to plan and present their solutions, quick thinking and improvisation is key.