What is Odyssey of the Mind?
Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program for kids K-12. Teams made up of 5-7 members have to solve problems (anything from building vehicles to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics) and present their solution to the problem to judges in an 8 minute skit. In addition, there is a spontaneous problem that the team has to solve, which also contributes to the team's score.
Teams are placed in one of three divisions based on their grade level, and they only compete with other teams in their division. Teams can have members from different grades, as long as they are all in the same division. Grades K-2 are placed in the Primary division (Primary teams don't get scored), grades 3-5 in Division 1, grades 6-8 in Division 2, and grades 9-12 in Division 3.
The teams work towards the day of their regional tournament, and the top finishers in each problem for each division move on to the state tournament, and world tournament after that.
Coaches and parents are prohibited to help out or suggest ideas to the team members in solving their problem. Teams have been known to get disqualified if they got help from an adult. Adults can show the team members how to use a tool, but they cannot work on their project for them.
Each team has to work within the budget assigned to the problem they are trying to solve, which is usually between $125 to $150. Reusable materials are preferred. Each team needs to provide at least one judge for the day of the regional tournament, as well as at least one 2-hour volunteer.
Moraga Odyssey of the Mind is sponsored by the Moraga Rotary Club.