Odyssey of the Mind (OM)
Odyssey of the Mind is an extra-curricular school activity in creative problem-solving. Modeled on interscholastic sports, Odyssey of the Mind’s creative competitions combines the excitement of athletic competition with fun-filled, often zany mental gymnastics. Teams match wits & abilities at local, state, and world competition.
A creative problem solving program open to all, Odyssey of the Mind teams of 5-7 students each, choose one of 5 competitive problems or K-2nd grade can choose a Primary Problem to solve. In the process of solving their problem, children learn to think outside the box, work together to develop creative solutions to broadly defined problems, and present their solution in an 8 minute performance. In addition, teams are rewarded for not just solving the problem, but for enhancing their solution with style. Teams also compete in an on-the-spot spontaneous problem as part of the competition.
Riffenburgh's OM teams have had a strong history of success, with several earning spots at the state level competition over the last few years. Students and their parents sign up to participate in October, with teams formed in November. Typically teams will practice one or two times a week between December and the regional competition in March. The Riffenburgh PTO covers the cost of team registration and fees, so there is no cost to families to participate. However, parents of team members will need to volunteer as coaches and assistants, judges and tournament day helpers.