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What is Odyssey of the Mind and why is it important?

As the Fifth Grade Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team heads to the World Competition next week, we asked them a few questions to get to know them, the competition, and its impact a little better. Themes of friendship, perseverance, acceptance, humility, and teamwork rang through all of the answers. And, of course, duct tape, magnets, and hot glue! Here are a few of their answers.

Odyssey of the Mind set

Explain in your own words what the purpose of Odyssey of the Mind is and how you think it will impact you in school and life?

It has made me more competitive, and I think outside the box. I think that OM is coming together and thinking creatively outside your day-to-day lives. ~Ellie

OM is an outlet for creativity, but it has academic benefits as well. In science class, we learned about magnets and repulsion, and now we use that in our skit. ~Julie

The purpose of OM is to be creative and work together. You get so close with your teammates sometimes you finish each other's sentences. ~Emily Grace

What has been the most challenging aspect? The most rewarding?

The most challenging aspect of OM is the planning stage. You just start from nothing and make a story. It must be understandable and fit the rubric. The most rewarding aspect is how to never give up. I also made six friends on the team. ~Claire

What makes a successful Odyssey of the Mind team?

One thing that makes a good OM team is when everyone works together and is a team. ~Eloise

What makes a successful Odyssey of the Mind team is people willing to step down and listen to others' ideas. ~Molly

Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about joining?

My advice for students who want to do it in the future is to just have fun. Yes, OM is a global competition, but it's meant to bring you joy, fun, and good memories. Cherish your time in OM. I know this has been the highlight of my year. ~Emily Grace

Always consider everyone's opinions and ideas, and never give up. ~Claire

Don't give up when times are tough; keep going. Just because your friends aren't on your team, get through it, and eventually, you'll become friends with them. Think outside the box, even when there is no box. ~Ellie

My advice is to always look outside of the box. ~Eloise

I think you should do it with your friends, be competitive, and don't choose the Balsa Wood problem! ~Julie

My advice for kids wanting to join OM is to have fun and be creative! Think outside the box! ~Molly