May 18, 2006Rob Gutro / Steve Cole
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Phone: (301) 286-4044/3026
NASA TAKES KIDS ON A JUNGLE "ODYSSEY OF THE MIND"
Students from around the world will gather this spring to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind 27th World Finals, funded in part by NASA.
This international event, to be held this year at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa from May 24-27, has been bringing teams of creative children together for nearly three decades to compete in the Odyssey World Finals. Millions of kids have been brainstorming, building, revising and perfecting their problem solution throughout the school year with hopes of advancing to the 2006 World Finals after competing in regional and association tournaments.
NASA provided a grant to develop one of the long-term challenges for this year's competition. The challenge, called "The Jungle Bloke," requires teams to create and present a performance about a "Bloke," a person who has the ability to talk with and understand animals from a jungle. Part or all of the performance will take place in a jungle selected from a list. The animals will tell the Bloke about a problem that exists there and get the Bloke to help. The animals will also help the Bloke in some way. The Bloke will convince someone else that he has the ability to talk with the animals. The presentation will include an original song and dance.
NASA expects to inspire nearly two million students, parents, teachers, and coaches around the world through its sponsorship of Odyssey of the Mind problems by encouraging interest and learning about Earth system science.
"For the fifth time, NASA is pleased to sponsor an Odyssey of the Mind Long Term Problem - The Jungle Bloke," said Dr. Michael King, Earth Observing System Senior Project Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
"Our agency has a long history of promoting divergent thinking by examining open-ended problems and proposing a wide range of solutions," King said.
NASA supported Odyssey's preliminary competitions by posting Earth science information on a special Web site. Web links were provided to assist students in developing solutions to problems facing the Earth. The NASA Earth Observatory's Odyssey webpage was created specifically for Odyssey of the Mind students and coaches and provides a list of helpful links highlighting NASA education.
The Odyssey of the Mind program was founded in 1978. It is an international educational program promoting team effort and creative problem solving for students from kindergarten through college. Thousands of teams from the U.S. and other countries participate in the program. Teams participating in the finals advanced from local, state, regional and country competitions.