Why Odyssey of the Mind is Good for Kids
The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process. For more than twenty five years, this unique program has helped teachers generate excitement in their students. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems -- great and small -- for a lifetime. The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently 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 "outside of the box." While conventional thinking has an important place in a well-rounded education, students need to learn how to think creatively and productively.
In the Odyssey of the Mind . . .
Millions of students from kindergarten through college have participated in the Odyssey of the Mind. Since the Odyssey of the Mind eliminates the fear of criticism, even shy students are afforded the opportunity to open up and express themselves. Students learn to work in teams. 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.
Age DivisionsTeams are formed by division and compete against teams in the same division and problem. Grade level determines the division for teams in the U.S. and in countries with an educational structure that corresponds to the U.S. Except for Division IV, teams from countries with a different grade system ( "Other International" ) will have their division determined by the ages of the team members. In competition, each school membership may enter one team per problem for each division it covers. Community groups and home-schooled members may enter one team per problem.
The team must compete in the lowest division for which it qualifies. For example, if a team qualifies for Division II it cannot compete in Division III. The team member in the highest grade (U.S.) or the oldest (Other International) determines the team's division as follows:
An International Extravaganza
The Odyssey of the Mind is truly a worldwide competition. Participants include teams from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Czech Republic, DoDDS Europe, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and practically every state in the U.S. The annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals is an event to behold. It embodies the international spirit of creativity!
A member may be a school, a recognized community group, or a college or university. A membership fee is $135 (U.S.). With each membership, you receive:
You'll receive the following discounts if you purchase more than one membership:
Referring to the Odyssey of the Mind volunteers:
"Behind each one of our finalists is a volunteer support network that can proudly claim to be one of those thousand points of light that I like to talk about." - George Bush, President of the United States
Odyssey of the Mind Associations
Typically, a chartered affiliate is a state, province, or country that holds a competition in that geographical area. It is headed by an Association Director. Teams advance from regional competitions to association finals, and the champions are invited to compete at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Members not represented by a chartered affiliate may compete at the World Finals on a first-come, first-served basis. All Division IV teams
compete directly at World Finals. Odyssey of the Mind International Headquarters
provides support services and materials to its affiliates. These include publications and trained consultants to
conduct workshops and training sessions, and videotapes to train judges. Odyssey of the Mind
tournament officials are properly trained at judges workshops to ensure uniform standards at all competitions.
Odyssey of the Mind Problems
The problems are designed for competition, with scoring components and limitations, or rules to be followed. The long-term problems change every year. They fall into five general categories. These are mechanical/vehicle, technical performance, classics, structure and performance.
Odyssey of the Mind Video:
A Creative Experience (27MB) | View | Download |
| More Information | Division Finder |