ACA Odyssey of the Mind
Odyssey of the Mind provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students. Creative problem solving is a results-oriented method of learning. It encourages students to analyze a situation, imagine all the possibilities, then synthesize the best qualities of their ideas into a workable solution. In Odyssey of the Mind, students learn creative problem-solving skills by... What else? Solving Problems! They generate ideas, then apply their skills and talents to bring those ideas to fruition.
Creativity Can Be Taught
Odyssey of the Mind develops and nurtures the creativity that lies in every individual. We strive to inspire kids to find new ways to solve all types of problems through critical thinking. The more students apply their creativity, the more creative they become.
Preparation for Life
What better way to prepare our children for the future than by teaching them to examine, to explore, and to create? In this world of ever-present challenges, creative problem-solving prepares students to face the unpredictable. In the creative problem-solving process, students conceptualize ideas, make critical decisions, then apply the skills necessary to implement their ideas into productive solutions. Students work under the guidance of a coach but are expected to do all the work themselves. This instills in them a sense of pride, achievement, and responsibility. They work within a cost limit so they gain experience in managing resources. Working in teams, they learn to respect the ideas of others while forming life-long friendships. When students rise to a challenge, they learn that they are capable of achieving things beyond their own expectations. This will carry over into other aspects of their lives.
Competition Stimulates Creativity
In essence, the Odyssey of the Mind is a competitive program. While participating in tournaments is not a requirement, the competitive element showcases each team's accomplishments, exposes students to the ideas of others, and encourages them to work at their full potential. Typically, teams compete at the regional level, then at the state level. Those that advance are eligible to attend the annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, held each spring at a university campus in the United States. Smithsonian Magazine describes World Finals as "a dizzying four-day thinkathon that looks like some kind of kooky cross between science fair, masquerade party, performing arts fest and the Olympics." It's an international gathering, where teams cheer each other on and camaraderie permeates every competition site. While the top scorers are named World Champions, in Odyssey of the Mind every team is a winner just by solving the problem!
When you join Odyssey of the Mind, you'll find that the benefits are endless.