Overview of Problem Types
Information courtesy of the National Odyssey of the Mind website, www.odysseyofthemind.com
Odyssey of the Mind Problems
The problems are designed for competition, with scoring components and limitations, or rules to be followed. The long-term problems change every year. They fall into five general categories. These are mechanical/vehicle, technical performance, classics, structure and performance.
Teams design, build and operate vehicles of various size and with various power sources. Sometimes they drive the vehicles, and sometimes the vehicles perform tasks, such as overcoming obstacles or visiting other “countries” to retrieve artifacts.
The theme of this problem is based on the classical — from literature to architecture to art. Whether it’s writing an additional chapter to Moby Dick or bringing paintings to life, it’s always a terrific learning experience.
In this problem, teams present performances that revolve around a specific theme and incorporate required elements. Past themes include “morphing” objects, animals that express human emotions, and originating folktales.
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.