• The team’s solution is something the team members build from their acquisition of skills and from their understanding of the Challenge and rules. It is Interference for a Team Manager, family member, teacher, etc. to contribute to the team’s solution.
  • A total of seven team members may contribute ideas, work on the solution, and participate in your team’s Presentation at the tournament. Every idea for every part of the unique solution must come from the team members only.
  • If someone not on the team offers an idea, your team may not use that idea, even if you might have thought of it yourselves later on.
  • If someone not on your team, including the Team Manager, builds or creates an item using the team’s idea, you may not use that item. The team must start over and build it themselves in their own way. If someone not on the team, such as the Team Manager or a family member, tells the team how to do something – whether it is building something new or just practicing the Presentation – the team must politely tell that person to let them do it themselves.
  • Please read page 13 of the Rules of the Road, for more information.

So…. where as a Team Manager or family member are you crossing the Interference line?

Think of it this way….

  • You can teach the team how to use the sewing machine, and show them how to sew a seam together. But you can’t show them how to make their costumes.
  • You can talk about what makes things funny, the different styles of humor, or locate comedies to watch. But you can’t tell them which parts of their script could be improved by adding humor.
  • You can talk about bridges, and look at how different bridges are built. But you can’t tell them how to build their bridge or remind them what might work from past discussions.
  • You can listen to their ideas related to their solution. But you can’t add to/voice your ideas to their solution.
  • You can bring in a subject matter expert to discuss a topic or teach a skill. (We suggest this person knows nothing about the teams challenge.) The kids can ask questions, but they can’t ask experts how they would solve the Challenge.

Would it be easier to just help them out? Will you be totally tempted to jump right in?

Yes, of course! But “helping them out” robs them of the opportunity to solve the Challenge on their own. Let the team talk it through, and develop a solution on their own. Their solution might seem like it’s taking forever to determine, and watching them may frustrate you, especially when you think you know a solution. Their idea might work or it might not, but learning through failure is an important part of the DI process. In the long run, they will increase their self-confidence and learn that they have a voice that deserves to be heard.


Yep, they have to do it themselves. You can show them how to safely use a tool, and you can stand there with your hand ready to pull the plug. But they have to do it themselves. If you, as their Team Manager, decide the team isn’t ready for power tools, then the team will need to find another way to solve the Challenge.