Odyssey of the Mind Team (Middle School)
Compass has a middle school Odyssey of the Mind (OotM) team! Team members participate in creative, problem-solving challenges and work on a year-long, student-led group project. Odyssey of the Mind is an international program which has encouraged children to tackle problems in unconventional ways through innovation since 1978. OotM merges STEM and the arts into a collaborative effort that brings kids with a variety of interests and talents together. OotM is largely student-led, and participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, such as speaking and presenting in front of others, and make friends while having fun while they learn and create.
The OotM organization boasts that rather than teaching students how to solve problems, team members are taught “how to be Problem Solvers.” Each year, OotM publishes five, original, long-term challenge problems. Students work with their teams to think outside the box for one-of-a-kind solutions to the challenges. Students brainstorm, research, sketch concepts, make technical drawings, construct prototypes, create a set, design costumes, write scripts, and more, all to package and present their unique solutions in a live performance at local and regional Odyssey competitions. The OotM team also learns to tackle spontaneous challenge programs which are solved in a short time using on-the-spot creativity, quick thinking, and teamwork.
The Compass Division 2 team will be comprised of at least five (5), but no more than seven (7) team members. Selection of team members may be weighted in favor of students whose parents agree to be a co-coach or team volunteer. The ideal team member will have skills in organization/leadership, script writing, costume design, public speaking, performing, or art/design and be able to commit to the team schedule.
Students must be in grades 6-8 (grade if enrolled in traditional school by birthdate without grade-skipping or acceleration). Membership is only open to current, registered Compass students. Students must maintain their Compass enrollment throughout the OotM competition year.
The team will meet on Mondays from 3:00 pm- 5:00 pm starting the last Monday in August. Additional team meetings will be needed for break-out projects and rehearsals closer to the regional competition. Team parents are needed to assist with transportation and storage of in-progress projects and to serve as volunteers at the local and regional competition.
Team members will be asked to pay a fee of $120.00 for the year. The fee will cover team registration, regional competition entry fee, coaches’ training sessions, photo copy expenses, and project materials. The team is encouraged to be thrifty and use borrowed, recycled, or repurposed items for their projects, and any team funds remaining at the end of the season will be returned to participating families.
In the event that there is sufficient student and parent support, Compass is willing to host two or more OotM teams on the condition that coaches step up.
Anyone interested in Odyssey of the Mind or additional questions should contact the team coaches at: xxxxx. Prospective members should reply with a description of the student’s talents, interests, and strengths, as the team strives for diversity in skills.