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Teams might present their very own prehistoric art festival or a skit where a character keeps waking up in a different place and time. Teams present their solutions at tournaments in a non-competitive showcase where they interact with judges who provide feedback. Primary problems are designed to provide younger OMers with a comprehensive, fun, and instructional experience that helps introduce them to Odyssey of the Mind.

2024-25 Primary Problem

It's a Wonderful World!

Travel back in time as OMers explore the Wonders of the World. In this problem, teams will create a performance about the Seven Wonders and create an original wonder that celebrates an achievement in our modern time. A time traveler character will take an architect on a trip to the past to find inspiration for this new creation. The performance will include an ancient setting, original artwork depicting a Wonder, and a creative time machine.

Past Primary Problems

When most people are sleeping, there is a whole new world that comes to life in the night. In this problem teams will create and present a performance about an explorer character that searches for things in nature that “wake up” at nighttime. It will also include a team-created original discovery, something that lights up, and a team member in costume that represents a nocturnal animal.

What better way to celebrate a new discovery than with a parade? Teams will create a performance all about dinosaurs. There will be a paleontologist character that discovers a “new” dinosaur that is invented by the team, an artistic representation of an already discovered dinosaur, and another portrayed by a team member in costume. These will all be presented in a fun parade!

We all know where the wheels on the bus take us, how about the wheels on an OM-Mobile? In this problem teams will design and build one or more vehicles used to transport something. Teams will build a vehicle that is powered three ways: human power, gravity, and free choice (e.g. battery, wind). The vehicle will travel forward, backward, and turn to a side. The performance will also include a funny narrator, a mechanic character, a salesperson, and a song about transportation that has a lyric repeated three times.

People see the world in different ways. Imagine looking at one thing and seeing something else. In this problem, teams will create and present a humorous performance about a magical pair of glasses that when looked through, make people look like animals. Teams will design a costume that transforms a character’s appearance from human to an animal, and another costume that transforms an animal to a different animal. A character will attempt to duplicate the glasses, but the copycat version doesn’t work the same way. What is seen through the copycat glasses will be represented by an artistic representation.

The team’s problem is to create and present a humorous performance that includes a fashion show for insects. An up-and-coming designer will be highlighted as a narrator describes the odd and curious fashions as they are modeled. A team-created song, a commercial, and a critic who reviews the Fashion Show are all part of the performance.

Kids can see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Now they will use that ability to create their own museum! The team will create and present an original museum and its exhibits. During the performance, the team will reveal three creative displays that explain the theme of the museum and show off team-made items. A tour guide will take audiences on a journey through the museum to meet a humorous artist and a curator.

Creativity heats up as teams create their own cooking show where a chef gives an original cooking lesson to a special guest. The show takes place from a creative kitchen where balsa wood is used to support a cookbook, a bowl, and an object of the team’s choosing. A special guest will visit and learn to cook from the chef by using team-created representations of food. Performances will also include a name for the show, theme music, and a story about the meal they are cooking.

Teams will create and present a performance about a group that is moving out of one place and into another. In one scene, team-created props and scenery will make up the first setting. To transform into a new setting, team-made devices will move the scenery and props to a new location. Everything in the setting for the next scene must be made from the transported items. The performance will also include a humorous Moving Character, a reason for the move, and a lost item that is rediscovered in an unusual place.

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