What is Odyssey of the Mind?Is Odyssey a good activity for my child?
Odyssey of the Mind Solving problems with more than one answer.The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having FUN in the process.
Odyssey of the MindOdyssey of the Mind, founded in 1978, is an International creative problem-solving program for students K-12. The mission of Odyssey of the Mind is to provide creative problem-solving opportunities for every student and to foster original. . .thinking. . . By working in teams, participants learn teamwork, the appreciation and understanding of others, and that a group is more powerful than an individual. They develop a sense of self-respect and respect for others through activities such as role-playing and brainstorming.The creative thinking process is nurtured and developed as a problem-solving tool. Odyssey of the Mind Program Guide
Creativity can be taught!By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students develop skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems great and small to last a lifetime. Odyssey of the Mind
The BasicsTeams of 5-7 students (K-12) work together under the guidance of adult coaches to solve one of 6 new problems presented every year.Teams compete in one of 4 divisions, Primary (K-2); Division I- grades 3-5; Division II grades 6-8 and Division III High School. Student teams from 35 States and over 15 countries work on these problems starting in October, culminating in a State Tournament in March where they compete in their Division (age group). Winning teams advance to the World Finals in May.The students do all of the work- every idea, every word in the script, every prop, device and contraption MUST come from the team of students! Takes the pressure off the coach!
The Long Term Problems:
The Long Term Problems: The Technical ProblemsEach problem comes with a set of guidelines and elements, that change every year, which the team must complete. In the technical problems (#1, #2, #4), the teams must design and create a vehicle, a structure or other device, --this robot was designed and built by a team from CHINA For example, in the balsa problem, the team must design and build a structure (as shown below) that is only 8 inches tall, weighs no more than 18 grams (the weight of 3 nickels), out of only balsa wood and glue. The structure will be tested at the competition by how much weight it holds! There are other elements required in the technical problems, usually a performance of some kind.
The Long Term Problems: The Performance Problems We have performance problems, as well, the Classics and the Performance.These problems also have required elements, for example, maybe the performance needs to include a special character or must be humorous or involve a piece of art work from a given list or take place in a certain place and time.
Where do we get materials? Most teams use everyday materials they find at home, or even from the trash! Each problem has its own cost limit so that teams learn to work within a budget. Mrs. Potato Head, here, is made completely from objects commonly found in the home. She costs only a few dollars to make- the rest is imagination!What could YOU make?
Spontaneous:The Verbal SpontaneousIn addition to the Long Term Problems, at competition, Judges present a problem to the team, one they have never seen before and one which they must solve together as a team within a time limit. For example, a verbal spontaneous might ask the team to: name things that are blue.We look for them to go beyond the concrete, my hat, the sky, to more creative responses, such as the wind blew or I feel blue or maybe blueberries. What can you think of?
Spontaneous:The Hands-On SpontaneousOr the problem may involve manipulating materials, for example the team may be asked to build a the tallest tower using only straws, paper clips, rubber bands, toothpicks and MARSHMALLOWS!
VolunteersConnecticut Odyssey of the Mind is an all volunteer organization. All of our Judges, Coaches, even our Board Members donate their time so that the students of Connecticut can benefit from this unique program. Parents, teachers and other community members come forward to help make this happen!
CoachesMost of our coaches are parents who want their child to be part of this exciting program. But coaches can be teachers and grandparents. Each team provides their own coach. We encourage new coaches to have a co-coach, which will make the first year easier for everyone. Coaches must be at least 18 years old.COACH TRAINING- We strongly encourage new coaches to attend! We provide two identical sessions, November and January. There are many materials available through CCI (www.odysseyofthemind) and CTOM (www.ctom.org)We are also available to help you during the year, whenever you need it! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Judges and Volunteers
Since we are an all volunteer organization each team MUST provide:JUDGE- who MUST attend a day of Judge Training (in late February, early March)plus a full day at the Tournament in March. Keep in mind, the Judge will not be able to watch the performances- so if this is important to your Judge, pick someone else! But students love to point out to others that their mom or dad is a JUDGE!VOLUNTEER- who MUST work at the Tournament for day (no training necessary)- runners, door monitors, assisting with parking, etc. Volunteers can watch the performance.
Costs: CCI MembershipWe work hard to keep costs down so that as many students can participate as possible. Odyssey of the Mind is extremely affordable when compared to other activities available to students.First, teams need a membership sponsor- usually a school but can be any established community organization, like a library or church group.Then, the teams need a membership through that organization from CCI (www.odysseyofthemind.com) The membership costs $135 but can cover several teams, 1 in EACH problem in EACH division. CCI provides a full set of problems plus the program guide.
Costs:CTOM Registration3. Registration with Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind (CTOM). By mid/late December, the coach registers the team with CTOM (see www.ctom.org for forms). It is at this point that the Coach will sign up to provide:LONG TERM PROBLEM CHOICEMEMBERSHIP NAME AND NUMBERONE JUDGE Note: Judges can express a preference for judging: -TECHNICAL, -PERFORMANCE, -SPONTANEOUS or -SCORINGONE VOLUNTEERRegister Early for $210.00, Regular registration cost:$245. Late payment fee: $50See Web site for payment policy and specific dates.Please remember to provide accurate email addresses for everyone as that is how we contact our coaches, judges and other volunteers
Costs:The Long Term ProblemEach problem has a cost limit that the team must keep recorded for competition. This levels the playing field so that all teams spend the same amount of money on their solution, usually between $125 - $145. For many items, teams can use the tag sale price for things that are commonly available. READ! the Program Guide for a specific list of items exempted from the costs (musical instruments, computers, sound systems).We usually suggest that coaches collect $20- $25 per student to cover the costs of things the team decides they need to buy, hardware, fabric, balsa wood, etc.
CTOM State TournamentTeams aim to complete their solutions to the Long Term Problems in time for the CTOM State Tournament in March. At the tournament they will compete in their Long Term Problem and in Spontaneous. Judges are trained to evaluate and assess the solutions and the creativity while following a scoring regimen established by CCI (Creative Competitions, Inc.). Once the team has completed their performance the judging team talks to the team about their performance, examines their props, scenery and devices. This validates the hard work of every team and helps teams develop the ability to explain and describe the work they have just completed.At the end of the competition is the Awards Ceremony!
World FinalsThe top two teams in each problem and division at the CTOM State Tournament advance to the World Finals in May where the top teams from all over the world present their solutions to these same problems. And sometimes CT teams come home having earned a World Finals Trophy!
At CTOMWe believe that Odyssey of the Mind not only inspires kids, but also prepares skillful, team-playing, out-of-the-box thinkers, leaders ready to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century!
Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind (CTOM) If you are interested, look for more information at www.ctom.orgwww.odysseyofthemind.orgOR CALL us at (860) 219-9799Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and have FUN learning at CTOM!