Odyssey of the Mind

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What is Odyssey of the Mind

Modeled on interscholastic sports, Odyssey of the Mind's creative competitions combine the excitement of athletic competition with fun-filled often zany mental gymnastics. Teams match wits & abilities together to develop creative solutions to broadly defined problems.

Teams are formed of up to seven students and a coach. Each problem solution requires an 8-minute performance, with specific requirements and unique to each problem type. From writing scripts and acting, to building structures and designing vehicles – there is a problem that appeals to all types of interests. 

While the problems are open-ended, there are limitations that encourage creative problem-solving. It’s not about coming up with the one “right” solution; it’s finding one of many possible creative solutions that meet specific requirements. OOTM doesn’t teach kids what to think, it teaches how to think.

Even better—teams become stronger when there is a mix of different talents and abilities. Often shy students find they enjoy performing and those that prefer working with their hands learn new skills as the team builder or designer. In OM learning is fun and competition brings out students’ best. These different students often become life-long friends that would never have met without OOTM as the connection.  

For more information contact Alysia Kurtz, SMUSD Head Coach, alysia.kurtz@smusd90.org

Check out the OOTM website at https://www.odysseyofthemind.com