Odyssey of the Mind (OM™) teaches students how to develop and use their natural creativity to become problem-solvers. Imagine being faced with a problem that requires an original solution. It can be frightening. Now imagine not being afraid to solve that problem – that is what OM members learn. This skill and self-confidence will carry over to all areas of their lives. OM brings the classroom to life as students apply what they learn and combine it with their interests and passions to solve our unique open-ended problems. OM also emphasizes teamwork, budgeting, time management, public speaking, and so much more. This international program is designed to help students at all learning levels grow as individual learners, grow as team members, and to reach their full potential.
Each team competes at the regional level, where winners are granted the opportunity to perform on a university campus for the State Competition. Those winners advance to represent their school and state at the World Finals Competition.
WHAT IS SPONTANEOUS?
Please don't ask! Seriously ... Creative opportunities often present themselves unexpectedly, so the ability to think on your feet is one of the most important skills a person can acquire. OM Spontaneous problems offer a way to hone that skill. At competition, every team solves a Spontaneous problem. Teams are presented with a problem that is verbal, hands-on, or a combination of both. On average, they have 10 minutes to read the problem and solve it.
Whether it is showing the world from the point of view of an animal, acting out a Food Court where all of the characters in a courtroom are food, or showing social outcasts saving the planet, you can be sure that the OM performance problem will be fun and unexpected. In their solutions teams integrate stage and drama elements from lighting effects to puppetry to elaborate set changes. Original characters and unusual situations give OMers plenty of opportunity to show off their creativity.
2021-22 Performance Problem: Life is a Circus
Sometimes life seems like a circus! Teams will create a performance about a young person enjoying a regular life in our world who wakes up one day to discover they somehow were transported into a circus world. In the circus world there will be original animals performing unexpected tricks, a clown, circus acts, and a ringmaster that announces the activities. The young person returns to the regular world thinking it was all a dream until they see a mysterious figure that turns out to be from the circus.