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Odyssey of the Mind

The mission of Creative Competitions, Inc. is to provide creative problem solving opportunities for everyone and to foster original and divergent thinking. Through the Odyssey of the Mind program, we promote creativity by challenging teams to solve divergent problems, that is, those with more than one solution. By working in teams, participants learn teamwork, the appreciation and understanding of others, and that a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual. They develop a sense of self-respect and respect for others through brainstorming and working as a team to develop a successful solution.

The purpose of the program is to provide students with an exciting learning experience that is both challenging and fun.

What is Odyssey of the Mind?

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition for students of all ages. Teams select a problem, design, develop, and implement their solution. They enter in a competition against other teams in the same problem and division. There are many elements of the program that are explained further in this Wiki, but here are some of the basics:

  • Students work in teams of up to seven members under the guidance of an adult coach.
  • Teams spend weeks or months, at their own pace, creating solutions to long-term problems. This includes style enhancements.
  • Team members must come up with all the ideas for their solution and do all the work themselves.
  • Coaches may help teach skills (for example, sewing), but it must not be done on the actual item the team will be using in their solution.
  • Teams work within the cost limit stated in the problem.
  • Teams have 8 minutes to present their long-term problem solution in competition. Practice timing to ensure they do not go over time.
  • Teams are scored for meeting the requirements of the problem and for creativity in categories specific to each problem. Teams should check to see that they have included all scored elements in their solution.
  • Teams are presented a spontaneous problem to solve on site at the tournament.

A team’s standing in competition is determined by its combined Long-Term, Style, and Spontaneous scores.

  • To solve a problem, teams must follow the general rules in the program guide, limitations in the problem, and clarifications issued during the year.
  • The rules in the program guide pertain to all the problems; any conflicting problem limitations supersede these rules, and clarifications issued throughout this program year supersede the rules and the problem limitations.

Getting the Most Out of an Odyssey of the Mind Experience

The Odyssey of the Mind program is based on the belief that creativity can be taught and enhanced. Students benefit from being on an OotM team by learning new skills and gaining confidence in themselves. Creative kids may not always be the “A” students. Odyssey of the Mind provides that outlet in an environment where almost every type of student will thrive.

Coaches provide teams the opportunity to expand their horizons and open new doors by participating in OotM. In the Wiki, coaches will find many exercises that will help to teach critical-thinking and creative problem-solving skills, but the program can provide much more than teaching students how to think: it allows students to apply what they’ve learned to different situations. Students use science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) to develop their solutions.

Coaches need to recognize the importance of opportunity that comes with coaching a team. The time coaches spend with the team and the support them show their team will make a difference in their lives. The team will learn more from their time in OotM than they imagined – things they can apply to real world situations in their daily lives. They’ll reminisce about the good times they had for years to come. And coaches help to make that happen.

odyssey_of_the_mind.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/12 02:30 (external edit)