Odyssey of the Mind: The Team Sport That Is not a Sport

 

There are many ways for your child to be a part of a “team” outside of traditional team sports. One incredible example of this is a program called Odyssey of the Mind (OM).

 

This international educational program allows students (Kindergarten through college) to work together in teams to creatively solve problems, including many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related objectives.

 

These teams receive the opportunity to present their work at local, state, and international competitions.

 

 

Questions: smoeneclaey@hotmail.com

 

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.

 Everything is done by the students: ideas, decisions, script, costumes, sets, vehicles and contraptions.

 

Who Participates?

 

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 their ideas.

Because Odyssey of the Mind eliminates the fear of criticism, even shy students are afforded the opportunity to open 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. https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/p/our-problems/.

These long-term problems are solved over weeks and months (Typically October to March. 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.

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