DAMB - learn & tranform through creativity centre

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a semifinalist.

DAMB - learn & tranform through creativity centre : Mobilising stakeholders to recognize creative problem solving in education

Gdansk, PolandGdansk, Poland
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

DAMB facilitates learning though creative problem solving in teams. Training sessions and divergent thinking challenges encourage cooperation of artistic, technical and scientific talents. Centre builds culture of creativity in local community through family tournaments, public debates on education

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if schools and parents valued creative behaviour and teamwork
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is no cooperation between parents, schools and learners in setting educational goals which match global challenges. Imagination and original solutions are discouraged by grading system based on punishing students' mistakes. Teachers & parents lack experience of creative education. They understand the need for change as children loose motivation for schooling but hunger for non-formal learning giving "flow" like creativity tournaments

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In response to this problem we created original program of creativity workshops for children, teachers and parents where they will be able to understand the needs of each other. We provide them the methods how they can attract children with science and humanities in the out of the box way. The children learn how to be creative, socialy aware, cooperative and open minded. We run the annual family creativity conference "CREOgeneration" where we merge the experiences of specialists in the matter of creative education, journalists, artist, parents, teachers and students! Results of debate are transfered to educational leaders, local and national policy makers. Manuals are published, teacher workshops offered, summer schools organized.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

DAMB is run for almost 20 years and many people were engaged in many projects. There was a boy who was discovered by Dorota - the founder of a center. During the "Vacations with Creative Passion" – our complimentary holiday project- she met Szymon very shy and ordinary boy. He was then in the age of 14. She saw the potential in him and encourages him and his parents to join the project of "Odyssey of the Mind". During the education provided by the center he found his technical and drama skills. He attended a University of Technology and became to works with youths sharing his experience about combining technology and art. Now he is the engineer, actor, inventor and fine art artist.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Impact of creativity training on youth is proved by a research by Monika Stepka. It shows that chidren involved in solving problems in teams are more motivated for other cognitive tasks for which they use imagination and emotional intelligence. DAMB had a leading role in the regional project for the talented and giftied in math, phisics and IT resulting in setting up 10 centres in small towns around Gdansk. Currently the centre has been commissioned to train 60 civil servants responsible for educational policy and regional development. DAMB was recognized by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and the Minister of Education Katarzyna Hall.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We would like to focus on the family, preach creative style of teaching and creative teachers. The most importent are discovering talented children and developing their talents to cooperation with parents and teachers. The second and next editions of Conference "CREOgeneration" are the best way to preach our idea of creative teaching (workshops for children, parents, teachers and międzypokoleniowe warsztaty, choice the most creative, full of passion teachers in the Poland) We have patronage of President of Gdansk, Major's Office and cooperate with Univercity of Gdansk .

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We will plan to base on Parents and Teatchers of our Damb users. We would like promote our idea via internet and other media, publications, conferences and young people who participated i our program. We will plan to develop our idea during proposal trainings for parents and teatchers "Creative way of live" " I'm creative Teacher". We will propouse EEG Biofeedback trenings for children and parents to use better their creative potential.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our idea is unique in polish education. We work not only with a children but also with parents and teachers. We develop all personality of children. Odyssey of the Mind is a part of our activities. After school education exists in Poland ( for example robotix, theatre, musical classes) but its develop only one talent. We works interdisciplinary and leads comprehensive activities: discovery talents, psychological diagnosis, educational, indyvidual path and creative development and also family creative conference which popularize new way of teaching.

Founding Story

Our founder Dorota talked with a lot of parents in a Psychological Center. Every day she heard the same: "My child is bored in the school and spend a lot of time at TV and computer" Dorota ended drama school and heard about Odyssey of the Mind. She tested also very talented boy, who was invented his own engine and he had a lot of fun with it. Dorota thought " What if combine all of this disciplines and create new form of workshops for children?" It was very exiting for young people, they may created something new, worked together in the groups and they where open minded. The parents where very glad and wanted cooperate with coaches and children. 2 years ago we created family conference CREOgeneration to promote this style of teaching.


Our team concider many different characters and personal sklills needed in this project. In our talented crew there are: psychologist, socjologists, educators, young actors and students. Those people are working with passion and engagement. We are dooing this becouse we believe in this idea. We are still loking for people with passion. Every one of us gives to this project something unique, our sparkle of creativity.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, PM, Gdansk

Country where this project is creating social impact

, PM, Gdansk

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Customers.


Our teams won many times during years of participating in creativity competition Odyssey of the Mind, not only in Poland and Eurofestivals, but also in World Finals:

2001 WF- University of Maryland, College Park- problem 3 "Wild.Winged.Wonders"- first place

2003 WF- Iowa State University, Ames- problem 2 "The know it all"- first place, problem 1 "A scene from above"- firs place and Ranatra Fusca Award

2005 WF- University of Colorado at Boulder- problem 5 "Laugh-a-thon"- third place

2006 WF- Iowa State University, Ames- problem 2 "Jungle Bloke"- second place, problem 3 "Ancient Egypt"- third place

2007 WF- Michigan State University, East Lansing- problem 1 "Tag'em"- firs place, problem 3 "Around The World in 8 minutes"- first place, problem 2 "The Large and Small of it"- second place, problem 5 "I'm Only Thinking Of You"- second place

2008 WF- University of Maryland, College Park- problem 2 "DinoStories"- second place and Ranatra Fusca Award, problem 3 "The Wonderful Muses"- third place

2009 WF- Iowa State University, Ames- problem 2 "Teach Yer Creature"- second place
2010 WF- Michigan State University, East Lansing- problem 2 "Return to the gif of flight"- firs place

2011 WF- Maryland State University, College Park- problem 1 "Mousemobiles"- Ranatra Fusca Award

2013 WF- Michigan State University, East Lansing- problem 1 "The Pet Project"- second place, problem 2 "The Email Must Go Through"- third place

2014 WF- Iowa State University, Ames- problem 1 "Driver's Test"- firs place, problem 2 " The Not-So-Hunted House- second place

The founder of the organization also won a special award of Prof. Sołowiej for unique engagement in development of Odyssey of the Mind competition.

As an organization we also gained the title of "Place Of Discovering Talents" awarded by Minister of Education, prize from the Mayor of Gdańsk- Paweł Adamowicz and invitation for meeting with Prime Minister of Poland.
We also participated in fairs "Industrial Technology, Science and Innovation".

Primary Target Age Group

6 - 12, 13 - 17, 18 - 35, 35+.

Your role in Education

After-School Provider, Coach, Teacher, Other.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative, Other.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)

Public (tuition-free), Private (tuition-based), Home-School.

Intervention Focus

Childcare, Professional Development, Parenting, other.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Putting Children in Charge: Giving children a voice and cultivating agency via experiential learning, project-based learning, and civic engagement.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Whole child development is undervalued: Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older, such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning.


Promotion of Idea of "Crative Teatcher" in the Education and support of CreoGeneration conference "Creative Jurney 2 the Future"


Taking Part of Creative Konference in September , in Gdansk . Open workshops for Youths and Teatchers

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

creative, divergent and independent thinking; creative solving problems; practical and interdisciplinary knowledge; innovativeness; teamwork; self-esteem; ability of self-presentation; motivation; involvement of parents

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.

Inspiration is derived from people we meet on our path of development. How they change, learn, be inspired by thing we make, be creative, the feedback they deliver. More and more other centers and people want us to cooperate - this actions propels our thinking and motivation machine to do more. If people we meet are ready to join us in Reimagine Learning, we are ready to fulfill their dreams.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?

Learning through play is essential and the only method we use. It provides 3 simple effects on people who are taught creativity in our center: joy, quicker results, satisfaction. Participants attend workshops where they create poems, pieces of arts, constructions, vehicles, performances, costumes and props. There are 3 main rules:1) Participants make this on their own, coach can only inspire them 2) every idea is good 3) we always find good parts in every solution. It provides atmosphere that people want to learn new things and don’t be afraid of criticism, have fun doing it and learn quickly.

SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.

Potentialy risk of finance breakdown is very low – about 2%. Main income come from parents whose children attend our workshops (70%). We have not suffer from breakdown in funding since the foundation of the center. Additional funding which we can acquire in 2nd and 3rd pillar (30%).

MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?

Mission: spreading the idea of creative lifestyle and teaching to make the world become a better place. We base on 3 main pillars: 1. Parents 70%( creative workshops, Odyssey of the Mind, tuitions) 2. Sponsors 10% (OM World Finals, talented children from poor families) 3. Investments from the profit/ other sources 20% (conference KREOgeneration, creativity workshops for children from revitalized area and populating the idea of creativity).

FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?

We will use this money to develop the idea of creativity in life and education by : developing KREOgeneration and the contest „Creative Teacher”, sharing the good practice of creative teachers: schooling, seminaries for the whole year, training for academic students – future teachers, other courses.

PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.

1. Odyssey of the Mind – learning through play, innovativeness, international exchange of ideas
2. Academy for the Future – workshops for children from orphanage – this forms a new sense to our activites
3. Gdańsk University – researches („How it works?”) and conferences („KREOgeneration”)

COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.

We would like to collaborate with the project SoScience. We both agree that creativity is crucial in development of innovativeness. We reckon that the form of our workshops would enhance our projects and integrate creativity with flexibility in thinking and team-work.

VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?

Our vision is to sustain the progress of our program by development of our current activities, social activities and creating a new corresponding system of sharing the creative lifestyle on global scale. Our goal is to change the educational system to accept creativity in teaching. We would love to encourage international participants to participate in our creative conference and share our experience globaly by inviting Ambassadors of creativity.

IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time

The evidence on sustainable effects we identify in the development path of hundreds of participants of DAMB program. Creativity workshops, Odyssey of the Mind Program, revolutionary inventions and ideas, successes in Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, studies on reputable int. universities- innovators and leaders in prestige organizations and companies, boosters of creative lifestyle. The breakthrough is the "Creative Teacher" competition.

IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

500 to 1,000

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

In progress

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers:


APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Physical Play, Play with Objects, Symbolic Play, Pretence/ Socio-Dramatic Play, Games with Rules, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play), Educational Structuring (developing playful projects within educational contexts), Adults Participating (Ensuring adults are able to play alongside children), Challenging Play (play that disrupts - where rules are disregarded and levels of imagination are high), Other (please specify).

Other (please specify)

Spontaneous problem solving

AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.