For more than forty years, this unique program has helped teachers generate excitement in their students. Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think in different ways by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking beyond the box.
The quick explanation:
- Students develop team-building skills by working in groups of as many as seven students per team.
- Students learn to examine problems and to identify the real challenge without limiting the possible solutions and their potential success.
- The creative-thinking process is nurtured and developed as a problem-solving tool.
- Students of all types will find something that will appeal to them.
- The fun of participation leads to an elevated interest in regular classroom curricula.
- Teachers have a program to further provide students with a well-rounded education.
Millions of students from all different backgrounds and learning levels have participated in the Odyssey of the Mind. The creative problem-solving process rewards unconventional thinking. Students at all levels benefit when they are encouraged to present all of their ideas. Because Odyssey of the Mind eliminates the fear of criticism, even shy students are afforded the opportunity to open up and express themselves. Students also learn important teamwork skills in OotM as they form a bond to create the best solution possible!
Making it a Competition:
Each year, five new competitive problems are presented for the teams to solve. These long-term problems are solved over weeks and months. Some of the problems are more technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance based. Each long-term problem rewards “Style” in the solution. This helps teach students that they should not simply try to solve problems but take the next step of enhancing their solutions. The teams are invited to participate in competition and present their solution with other teams. At the competition, the teams are given an on-the-spot “spontaneous” problem to solve. The combination of long-term problem-solving, Style, and spontaneous problem-solving produces a confident, able student.