What's the Big Idea? - A Destination Imagination Podcast

What's the Big Idea? - A Destination Imagination Podcast

WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? is the podcast where today’s leaders and innovators share the big ideas that brought them to where they are today. Learn about the stories, skills, and inspirations behind some of today's most successful minds. Guests will reflect on the journeys they’ve taken, from kid to career, that helped them make an impact in our world. If you’re a parent or an educator, you dream of bright futures for the young people in your life. On WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?, join us while today’s leaders - authors, entrepreneurs, even astronauts! - reflect on the big ideas that helped them achieve their goals. Brought to you by Destination Imagination, the leading project-based learning experience for students, WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? shares today’s successes to build tomorrow’s futures.


June 8, 2023 20 mins

In our Season 3 finale, host Paige Curtis chats with our first guest who is also a current DI participant! Nikhita Penugonda is a high school junior who is passionate about math, astronomy, and physics. In this episode, Nikhita shares her experiences with the Million Girls Moonshot Inaugural Flight Crew, how DI has made an impact on her studies, and how she likes to give back to her community.


In this episode, we invite you to at...

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Host Michele Tuck-Ponder sits down with Mark-Eugene Garcia, playwright and manager at the Drama Book Shop. Mark tells us about his writing process, offers advice to aspiring writers, and shares the importance of collaboration in the theatre.


In this interview, Mark tells us about the Queens Theatre’s production of his play, Eight Tales of Pedro. While that production has since closed, the script to Eight Tales of Pedro is availab...

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May 25, 2023 33 mins

Host Andrew Whitmire sits down with Nini White, author of Kids Own Wisdom and host of the Big Picture podcast! In this episode, Nini shares how her struggles in school led to her becoming a teacher, how education can help unlock a student’s potential, and why “questions are the answer”.


In this episode, we invite you to attend a Destination Imagination Information Session to learn more about DI’s educational experiences and why t...

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May 18, 2023 17 mins

This week, our staff and volunteers are in Kansas City, Missouri for Global Finals 2023. Global Finals is a one-of-a-kind event featuring top teams from all around the world. In this episode, some of our Alumni and Team Managers share their favorite experiences from this unique event.

This week, we ask you to consider making a charitable donation to Destination Imagination. To learn more about how to give the gift of creativity th...

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May 11, 2023 16 mins

Tune in to Part 2 of our interview with Kevin Dua, history teacher with Boston Public Schools. Part 1 is available here.   In this episode, Kevin describes ways we can support current educators and answers our rapid fire questions!


In this episode, we invite you to attend a Destination Imagination Information Session to learn more about DI’s educational experiences and why they matter. To view a session live or on demand, visit o...

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May 4, 2023 27 mins

This week’s episode features special guest Kevin Dua, history teacher for Boston Public Schools. In Part 1 of our interview with Kevin, he shares his unexpected journey into the world of education and tells us about how he creates a learning environment for students to break world records.


This week, we ask you to consider making a charitable donation to Destination Imagination. To learn more about how to give the gift of creativ...

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April 27, 2023 26 mins

This week, we speak with Oaklee Thiele, artist and disability activist. Oaklee tells us about her creative process as an artist, including how she adapts her artistic procedures to meet her own access needs. She also describes the origin of the My Dearest Friends  project, which provides a creative platform for disabled people to share their stories, and the #NothingSpecial campaign, which advocates for disability rights in educati...

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April 20, 2023 33 mins

In our Season 3 premiere, host Michele Tuck-Ponder welcomes Dr. Chris Jones,

Chief Technology Officer of iRobot Corporation. Dr. Jones shares insights about the invention process,  the importance of multi-disciplinary learning, and his thoughts on technologies of the future. He also offers advice for students who are interested in pursuing a career in robotics! If you’re looking for tips on how to make your Roomba “respect” you, yo...

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June 9, 2022 22 mins

In our season finale, host Michele Tuck-Ponder shares a conversation with DI’s Director of Education, Johnny Wells! Johnny tells us his opinions on the four Cs, shares how his 30 years as a teacher prepared him for the world of DI, and gives us some behind-the-scenes knowledge into how decisions are made at Destination Imagination HQ.


You can learn more about Johnny and his role at DI by visiting our website.


If you’d like to l...

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June 2, 2022 29 mins

This week, host Andrew Whitmire chats with Shira Ali, founder of REI Chics, a property management training and consulting firm. Shira takes us through the decision making process behind leaving her corporate job to start her own business, and gives us some insights to the many skill sets she uses in her work.


You can learn more about Shira and her podcast, Manage Your Property with Ease, by visiting her website.


This week, we a...

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May 26, 2022 23 mins

In this episode, host Michele Tuck-Ponder chats with the University of Dayton’s Teri Rizvi, author and co-founder of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. Teri tells us about the inspiration behind the creation of this famous writing workshop. We also learn more about Teri’s new book, One Heart with Courage, and how she finds time to pursue writing in addition to her other responsibilities.


You can learn more about Teri on her websi...

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May 19, 2022 8 mins

This week, most of our staff and volunteers are in Kansas City, Missouri, for our Global Finals tournament. If you’ve never attended Global Finals, it’s an event unlike any other - so we asked some of our alumni to describe their experience for you.


This week, we ask you to consider making a charitable donation to Destination Imagination. Click here to make your contribution today.


A transcript of this episode is available here...

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May 12, 2022 27 mins

In this week’s episode, host Michele Tuck-Ponder chats with Antwaun Thompson, aka Coach T, Executive Director of JLT Fieldhouse and owner of Coach T’s Corner. Coach T shares his stories from the basketball court and tells us about the leadership skills that can be gained through team sports.


You can learn more about Coach T and his leadership programs by visiting his website.


This week, we ask you to learn more about Destinatio...

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May 5, 2022 24 mins

“I don’t balance. Nope. I feel like that’s just not a thing. There is no balance…communication research backs this up; you shouldn’t multitask…your brain doesn’t work that way. When I’m doing news, I am just doing news.” - Malika Dudley


This week, host Paige Curtis sits down with Malika Dudley, broadcast meteorologist for KITV4 Island News in Hawaii! Malika talks us through her process for communicating big information with the m...

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April 28, 2022 20 mins

 “My advice: Follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Work hard. Show you can do.” - John Cronin


“Don’t ever focus on somebody’s limitations. Be awed by the possibilities.” - Mark X. Cronin


Part 2 of 2! Join us for Part 2 of our interview with John and Mark Cronin, founders of John’s Crazy Socks. In this episode, John and Mark tell us more about their advocacy work for people with differing abilities, how they use communication i...

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April 21, 2022 19 mins

“We’re in this for the long haul, so we’re looking to make personal connections and share the experience with our customers - we’re looking to create an experience for our customers. Once you believe that, then it becomes manifest in everything you do.” - Mark X. Cronin


In our Season 2 premiere, host Paige Curtis sits down with John and Mark Cronin, a father and son duo who are the founders of John’s Crazy Socks. In part 1 of our...

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WE'RE BACK! Season 2 of What's the Big Idea? debuts April 21.

Join us for a new round of interviews, including authors, teachers, entrepreneurs, meteorologists, and more!

What's the Big Idea? is available wherever you get your podcasts.


Music Attributions: Wallpaper by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song... License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license



MICHELE: Hi, I’m Michele Tuck-Ponder, Ex...

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“I see some young adults - and it kinda frustrates me a little bit - at top notch universities, that cannot really critically think. They know how to use the tools, and they know how to get direction, but if I say ‘Solve this problem’ and it’s kind of an open ended problem, they’ll basically be asking for a set of instructions. And so that ability to really look and abstract the problem - it’s something we really need to develop ve...

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“You want someone to feel something if you’re going to be involved in an experience. And for me, learning meant I needed to remember something. Like, I remember my dad tripping over me in the early morning hours, because I was watching on this black and white TV on this big ol’ console there in the living room because they were going to the moon - and I remember that moment….those moments are seared in our mind.  And if we can crea...

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“I would love to touch on this from a perspective of, like, if you might believe differently from me, I still want this to apply to you if you’re listening to this. So, for me, I think all of us can resonate with the idea that we want to make a difference in the world...I was able to learn from so many different beliefs - around my own faith, even!...and so I think I was able to become a better songwriter because I was able to unde...

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