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Odyssey of the Mind Team, 4-8, 10:30

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Materials and registration fees included in cost of class

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Class Description

Odyssey of the Mind is the quintessential STEAM program where teams of students solve long-term challenges that require the use of science, engineering, technology and math. Those teams present their solutions in the form of an 8 minute play to the judges at a regional tournament. The entire solution should be as creative as possible to ""wow!"" the judges.


I have coached multiple teams to states over the years! Registration of team, team tshirts, and any equipment required to compete is included in cost of class New Problems will be chosen for the 2019-2020 school year, but to get an idea of the types of challenges, here are the current year's problems.


Once registration is complete the team (teams) will select which problem they want to work on.


Problem 1: OMER to the Rescue, Again Who better to help those in distress than OMER? In this problem, OMER and his trusty Sidekick travel to different places with suitcases holding all of the parts of an OMER-mobile vehicle! OMER and his Sidekick will assemble and ride on the vehicle where it will function in different ways to “save the day.” Between attempts, the vehicle will be disassembled, put back into the suitcases, and taken to a different area where it will be reassembled and driven again. Finally, the OMER-mobile is thrown a hero’s parade as a show of appreciation!

Problem 2: Hide In Plain Sight Teams take a cue from nature in this problem where they create and build a team-made mechanical creature that hides in plain sight. The creature will change its appearance three times to avoid being detected by a Searcher Character trying to find it. The way the creature changes will be different each time! The team will create and present a performance where its creature gets into – or out of – various situations using this resourceful skill. In the end the creature will surprise everyone by changing its appearance a final time and reveal its true self.


Problem 3: Classics… Leonardo’s Workshop Imagine how inspiring Leonardo DaVinci’s (LDV) workshop must have been. Teams will portray his workplace in an original, creative performance that includes LDV, a patron, and a naysayer. The team will recreate a DaVinci painting, make a three-dimensional representation of one of his works, and recreate another LDV work in any form the team wishes. There will also be an original “debunked” creation that LDV “invented” but discarded because it was mocked. Ironically, the item will be shown as something commonly used in modern times.


Problem 4: Structure Toss Step right up and put your structure to the test! Teams must strategize risk for points and “toss” their structures in this year’s problem-turned-carnival. They will use a device to propel the structure in a carnival game. If it travels in the air it gets higher score! Once the structure has been successfully tossed, it can be tested for strength. A carnival barker character will entice other characters to join the fun during a performance that incorporates testing the structure’s strength with creative games of skill and chance.


Problem 5: Opposites Distract Disagreements can distract groups from seeing the bigger picture. Teams will create and present a humorous performance about a sneaky character that distracts others while trying to take control of anything the team wishes. In the performance it will lure others into silly arguments and be successful two times. The arguments will be presented using different dramatic styles and will include attention-getting effects. In the end, the groups will learn that they have been intentionally distracted and will catch the sneaky character before it takes control.