Spontaneous problems are an important part of the Odyssey of the Mind program. In addition to performing their Long Term Problem, each team that enters a competition must solve a spontaneous problem on the day of the tournament. Depending on the type of problem they’re given, teams typically have between 2 and 10 minutes to work on their solution.
To solve spontaneous problems, teams must know how to budget their time because they have only a few minutes to “show their stuff.” In those few minutes, they have to originate, evaluate, and carry out ideas, so they develop the ability to “think on their feet.” It takes practice, and some of the most important life skills are developed during spontaneous practice sessions.
With so many students and families home together over the coming weeks, we’ve decided to make many of our old spontaneous problems available to all who are interested in finding fun and challenging ways to spend time together while remaining intellectually active. Check back every day for new problems!