What is Odyssey of the Mind?

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition for students of all ages. Teams of students select a problem, create a solution, then present their solution in a competition against other teams in the same problem and division. There are many nuances of the program that are explained in the Program Guide, but here are some of the basics of participation:

  1. Students work in teams of up to seven members under the guidance of an adult coach.
  2. Teams spend weeks or months, at their own pace, creating solutions to long-term problems. This includes Style enhancements.
  3. Team members come up with all the ideas for their solution and do all the work themselves. Coaches may help teach skills and educate the team on ways of approaching the problem and of evaluating their solution.
  4. Teams work within the cost limit stated in the problem.
  5. Teams have 8 minutes to present their long-term problem solution in competition.
  6. Teams are scored for meeting the requirements of the problem and for creativity in categories specific to each problem. At the competition teams are presented a spontaneous problem to solve on site.

Odyssey of the Mind - Texas is 100% volunteer based. If you are new to the program, here are some ways you can get involved.

  • Membership Coordinators are volunteers who act as liaison and help promote the program within a school.
  • Coaches are volunteers who help guide the team throughout the academic year, to bring the results to competition.
  • Judges are volunteers who come to competition to observe all the teams present their solution and help score the presentations.
  • Administrative assistants are volunteers who help the behind-the-scene organization.
  • Association Board Members are also volunteers who keep the program together and provide a direction for the Texas Chapter.