Teams design and build structures, using only balsa wood and glue. They test them by supporting and
holding as much weight as possible -- sometimes more than a thousand pounds! Teams usually present a skit as part of the Style presentation.
Teams make innovative contraptions and incorporate artistic elements into their solutions. They might be asked to write an original musical score to play on a "new" type of instrument, or to build a robot with human characteristics, or to perform tasks using a chain
reaction of snapping mousetraps.
A Brief History
The Odyssey of the Mind has its roots in the Industrial Design classes of Dr. Sam Micklus, Odyssey of the Mind founder. As a professor at Rowan University in New Jersey (formerly Glassboro State College) Dr. Micklus challenged his students to create vehicles
without wheels, mechanical pie throwers and flotation devices that would take them across a course on a lake. He evaluated them not on the success of their solutions, but on the ingenuity applied and the risk involved in
trying something new and different. Students had fun.
Word spread and the students' activities attracted attention from the local media. Soon, people on the
outside wanted a part of the action. This public interest led to the development of a creative problem-solving competition for school children. The Odyssey of the Mind was on its way.
Since then, Dr. Micklus's life has been happily
consumed with developing problems for other people to solve. His rewards are in the joy and pride of the millions of participants who rise to the challenge of solving those problems.
Odyssey of the Mind Video:
A Creative Experience (27MB) | View | Download |
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"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Written by Larry Cousins