Odyssey of the Mind

  • Region 15 Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that empowers youngsters to think creatively to solve problems within a competitive setting. This competition involves both long term and spontaneous problems. While the long term problems are presented to the teams prior to the competition date, the students receive the spontaneous problems on the date of the event to challenge their ability to “think on their feet.”

    Costs for the basics of this enrichment program are covered by the district, so there are no fees for students to join.  Meetings and practices will take place during school hours, when students have a free period such as advisement or study hall.  Competition is typically on a Saturday in March, at a hosting school from our region. High-ranking teams may have the opportunity to compete at the state and world levels.  In the event that our team makes it to these championship competition, fundraisers for travel expenses will be available. 

    Eligibility includes students in grades 5-8.

    The Long Term Problem (200 Points):  These solutions require a great deal of work. Teams work for three to four months to prepare their solutions. Some problems are technical in nature, while others are more dramatic; others combine both technical and dramatic components. Regardless, all problems are open-ended, thus allowing unlimited, divergent solutions. For more information, check out the website at www.odysseyofthemind.com or www.nysoma.org.

    The Spontaneous Problem (100 Points):  Each Odyssey of the Mind team participating in a tournament must solve a Spontaneous Problem. These problems will be presented on the day of the tournament in one of three ways: Verbal, Hands-on or a combination of the two, Verbal/Hands-on. If given a Verbal problem, teams generate as many creative verbal responses as they can in a short time period. For Hands-on problems, teams must solve a technical or physical problem. In the Verbal/Hands-on, a physical object is manipulated in sequence by the team members as they deliver creative verbal responses. Although only five of the team member participate in this section of the competition, all members should be present. 

    Outside assistance is not allowed from coaches, parents, siblings or any person not on the Odyssey Team. 

    Odyssey of the mind is committed to:

    • Providing opportunities for children to develop creative thinking skills
    • Encouraging the development of cooperation, self-respect, and the   appreciation  and understanding of others
    • Helping children develop creative problem-solving skills to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world      
    • Creating experiences that develop essential life/survival skills