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2007 World Finals

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May 17, 2007

Dewayne Washington
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Students from all over the world will gather to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind's 28th World Finals, a creative problem-solving competition, at the Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., May 23 through 26. These students have advanced from competitions held earlier in the year at the local, regional, state or country levels and will now compete for the Odyssey's top awards.
NASA's Earth Observing System Project Science Office provided a grant to develop one of the long-term problems for this year's competitions. In the problem, "Around the World in 8 Minutes," teams will create and present a performance that includes a "Traveler" character on a trip around the world. During the trip, the Traveler will stop at three locations on Earth that have different geographic characteristics. Two settings—one polar, the other different—will be actual places, and the third one will be an undiscovered location created by the team. The performance will include an explanation about why the character takes the trip and the reason it stops at each location.
"Odyssey of the Mind is a natural partnership with NASA whose challenge is to answer the question, ‘How is the Earth changing and what are the consequences for life on Earth?'" according to Michael King, Earth Observing System Senior Project Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “Exploration of scientific principles and creative solutions through sound engineering is valuable training and exciting to students the world over. NASA's interest in developing a deeper understanding and awareness of Earth system processes and one's impact on his or her environment is enabled by teaching the world’s students to think 'outside the box' and to solve complex problems in the environment."
Over the past year, NASA has 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.
A section of NASA's Earth Observatory Web site serves as a portal to many teacher and student learning modules. They include: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change; Investigating the Climate System with NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (including rain, wind, clouds, energy and weather); Exploring the Environment (a coral reef lesson); Teachearth.com, resources for teachers; and "Virtual Vacationland." Virtual Vacationland" is a resource tool for locating and using Earth Science data and information on the Internet.
NASA expects to reach nearly two million students, parents, teachers, and coaches around the world through its sponsorship of Odyssey of the Mind problems, stimulating interest and learning about Earth system science among all ages.
The Odyssey of the Mind program, founded in 1978, is an international educational program that promotes team effort and creative problem-solving for students from kindergarten through college. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and about 35 other countries, including Argentina, Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan, participate in the program.
For more information and images, please visit on the Internet:
To access the Odyssey of the Mind official Web site, visit:
For information about NASA’s Odyssey of the Mind “Around the World in 8 Minutes" challenge, on the Internet, visit:

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