ODYSSEY OF THE MIND SPURS CREATIVITY

Odyssey+of+the+mind+teams+work+hard+to+prepare+for+regionals.

Renee Sang

Odyssey of the mind teams work hard to prepare for regionals.

Adrian De Guzman, Activities Manager

On Saturday, Feb. 27, seven teams from Seminole High School attended the regional competition for Odyssey of the Mind at Edgewater High School. The organization and correlated events are a good forum to demonstrate a team’s ability to work together and think creatively.

According to the organization’s official website, Odyssey of the Mind is a program that presents opportunities to creatively solve problems for students from kindergarten to college. The main goal of Odyssey is to perform a skit lasting eight minutes. The twist is that during the course of the skit, teams have to present a solution to one of a set range of problems that can range from demonstrating the strength of a structure built by the team to showing how a character changes throughout the skit.

“The choice of the problems allows people who are good at certain aspects [of the problems] to choose one that they are good at,” sophomore and participant Jason Raman says. “However, all problems tie into a performance, so a team just can’t be super good at one thing and win.”

Teams can choose from a set of five problems that fall into five general categories. These categories include building something mechanical, incorporating classical tales into their skit, presenting performances around a specific theme, building a structure, or making a performance that incorporates innovative contraptions and artistic elements.

Senior Naveen Krishnan, president of Seminole’s Odyssey of the Mind club says, “I like it a lot. I really like how I can do anything I want, without any restrictions on my creativity.”

On the day of the competition, teams also participate in what is known as a spontaneous portion. As the name suggests, teams have no knowledge of the challenge prior to the event, and therefore cannot plan for it. Spontaneous problems can be verbal, hands-on or both.

Sophomore Sakinah Dewji, who worked on problem three, says, “Teamwork plays a really big part into [spontaneous problems]. Especially for hands-on problems, [teams] have to work together to do the problems. If your team isn’t working together, you won’t be able to do the problem.”

Preparation for the competition begins long before the actual event, with many of the teams having their first meetings back in September 2015. Teams typically meet a few times each month, logging in a few hours at each meeting in order to lessen the workload, since there are sets to build, costumes to design, skits to write, and much more.

At regional competitions, there are about 80 teams competing, and teams that place first and second for their problems typically move onto the statewide competition. The state competition features about 30 teams per problem; two from each of the 15 divisions. Teams who place first and second at states then move onto nationals.

At the regional competition all of the Seminole teams moved on to the statewide competition on April 9, 2016. Below is a list of the different problems and the place the respective teams received.

Problem 2: Team A 1st and Team B 2nd

Problem 3: Team A 2nd and Team B 3rd

Problem 4: Team A 1st

Problem 5: Team A 1st and Team B 2nd