It is a club that requires the same dedication a student may be expected to exert for an athletic team, youth group, etc. Additionally, we attend a regional competition that affords the possibility of participating in a state competition which lends itself to a Worlds competition (based on our scores). It is imperative that team members and parents understand the amount of time and dedication required for participation, even after the school day ends.
The competition consists of two separate events: spontaneous & long-term. The spontaneous event consists of the team responding to one of three types of problems: verbal, hands-on, and verbal/hands-on. The team doesn’t know which type of problem they will have to respond to until they enter the room on competition day! Example Problems These are some examples of spontaneous problems.
The other part of the competition is a long-term problem. Student teams of 5 to 7 work together on the long-term problem. The long-term problems fall in one of one five categories:
Mechanical/Vehicle: Teams design, build and operate vehicles of various size and with various power sources. Sometimes they drive the vehicles, and sometimes the vehicles perform tasks, such as overcoming obstacles or visiting other "countries" to retrieve artifacts.
Classics: The theme of this problem is based on the classical -- from literature to architecture to art. Whether it's writing an additional chapter to Moby Dick or bringing paintings to life, it's always a terrific learning experience.
Performance: In this problem, teams present performances that revolve around a specific theme and incorporate required elements. Past themes include "morphing" objects, animals that express human emotions, and originating folktales.
Structure:Teams design and build structures, using only balsa wood and glue. They test them by supporting and holding as much weight as possible -- sometimes more than a thousand pounds! Teams usually present a skit as part of the Style presentation.
Technical Performance:Teams make innovative contraptions and incorporate artistic elements into their solutions. They might be asked to write an original musical score to play on a "new" type of instrument, or to build a robot with human characteristics, or to perform tasks using a chain reaction of snapping mousetraps.
Odyssey of the Mind requires intensive parent involvement. There are many roles and responsibilities available for parents.
Here is the link for the problems this year. 2020 Long Term Problems