Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program for students in grades kindergarten through college. Students work on teams to solve problems creatively! Georgia Odyssey of the Mind is dedicated to providing opportunities for children to work together to solve unusual and stimulating problems. Georgia OotM believes that creativity, persistence and cooperation needed to complete the Odyssey of the Mind problems will empower students to be more successful problem-solvers in their own lives, and in future problem-solving situations.
Eastvalley is looking for coaches for the 2010-2011 school year. We are working with Ms. Wacker and the teachers to bring OotM back to Eastvalley for another successful year. We will begin forming teams in August. If you are interested in highly challenging and motivating opportunity to coach a team and are willing to make a longterm commitment to this program, please go to the Odyssey of the Mind website. There you can review the problems for the 2010-2011 year and watch a video to help you understand what OotM is all about. You can also contact any of these coaches, Lisa Favro, firstname.lastname@example.org, Sue Larsen, email@example.com, Melissa Chalker, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Leslie Singer, email@example.com. They will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Frequently asked questions:
Question: How can I help?
We Need Coaches! The bottom line is simple: the more coaches we have, the more teams we create, and ultimately, more students can be offered this incredible opportunity. As a coach, we will offer you in-depth OotM training, training materials, and coaching guidelines to help set up a successful team. Not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime experience you'll get!
You can also contact any of these coaches, Lisa Favro, firstname.lastname@example.org, Sue Larsen, email@example.com, Melissa Chalker, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Leslie Singer, email@example.com. They will be happy to answer any of your questions.
IMPORTANT: We strongly encourage you to go to Odyssey of the Mind for a great video for you and your child to watch together. This video will help explain and bring to life what Odyssey of the Mind really is and how it benefits our children. Click "watch video" from the home page and then "view" (do not buy the DVD).
Question: What is the Odyssey of the Mind (OotM) program?
OotM is an international, education-based, creative problem-solving program for children from kindergarten through college. Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world levels. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 countries participate in the program.
Eastvalley has participated in OotM for close to twenty years and has several teams to State and World Finals!
Question: What do the children do in OotM?
Working in teams of no more than 7 members, OotM students have 2 tasks to prepare:
- "Long Term Problem"
The team must create an 8-minute performance that creatively "solves" a pre-assigned problem. This could involve brainstorming a concept, writing a script, building mechanical devices, making props, costumes, scenery, and possibly creating songs or dances.
At competition, the team is given a verbal or hands-on problem to solve, which they do not know in advance. It's an open-ended question, giving the kids a chance to show their creativity, teamwork, and ability to think on their feet.
OotM work is strictly hands-off for adults. The children are responsible for all phases of the solution, while adult coaches provide scheduling, explanations, motivation, and teaching.
Question: How can Odyssey of the Mind benefit my child? By tapping into creativity and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem solving, Odyssey of the Mind students learn skills that provide them with the ability to solve problems -- great and small -- for a lifetime. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. In addition,
- OotM students learn to work together and develop team-building skills.
- OotM students learn to examine problems and to identify the real challenge without limiting the possible solutions and their potential success.
- The fun of participation leads to an elevated interest in regular classroom curricula.
Question: Does my child have what it takes to be in OotM?
Yes! In fact, the most successful OotM teams bring together students with widely diverse backgrounds and skill sets. OotM teams need kids with a variety of skills, including critical thinkers, builders, negotiators, painters, writers, actors, singers, dancers, musicians and more. Since the Odyssey of the Mind eliminates the fear of criticism, even shy students are afforded the opportunity to open up and express themselves.
Question: How much of a time commitment is OotM for students?
OotM is a TEAM activity requiring an effort and time commitment equivalent to that of most sports and other activities. All team members are expected to attend regular practices and are required to attend competitions. OotM should not be considered a secondary activity and it is not an alternative to ASP. Each team will meet a minimum of once a week for several hours during the first semester of school. After winter break, an additional weekly practice will be added.
Question: How much does OotM cost?
If your child is accepted into the OotM program, a $100 - $125 fee is required prior to the first meeting. Final fees will depend on the number of participants. These dollars offset costs of team registration, your child's competition t-shirt, some competition expenses, etc. Materials needed to produce costumes, scenery, etc. for each skit are also covered from these fees.