Odyssey is complex. Odyssey is challenging, long, exciting, academic, artistic, creative, sometimes frustrating, character building, confidence building, team oriented, and lots of fun! But, what is Odyssey? It is an international problem solving competition that rewards students for creative thinking and teamwork. Thousands of teams in grades Kindergarten through college are involved. Each team consists of between five and seven members.
Each year the Odyssey of the Mind Association produces six long-term problems. The problems are complex; often they are four or five pages long. Children are given the opportunity to preview the problems to decide which interests them the most. Children in the primary division (K-2) are given a special problem to work on. They solve their problem and present their solution to an audience at the regional competition just like the other teams. However, unlike the other divisions, they are not competitive and therefore, are not judged.
Each team has at least one coach, but usually there are two coaches. The role of the coach is to conduct meetings that will lead to the solution of the problem. The coach may in no way offer suggestions that will lead to the solution of the problem (nor may parents, friends, neighbors, or anyone else.) The solution of the problem is left entirely up to the members of the team.
Odyssey of the Mind is open to every child in the district from grades K-12 who wishes to participate. The Odyssey of the Mind program requires a great deal of dedication. Once teams are put together they should decide their meeting schedule and let me know. All the coaches are volunteers. Most are parents and sometimes faculty members. There would be no Odyssey of the Mind without these coaches. They do a great job!