FullSizeRender CROPPED OM.jpgWayland Union Odyssey of the Mind (OM) is a fun, free international problem solving competition.  Students from Kindergarten to 12th grade compete.  Team members work in teams of 5 to 7 to solve one out of a selection of five fun problems (see below).  Students improve their teamwork and problem solving skills, engage their creativity, and perform at the competition on Saturday, February 17th, 2017 at Wayland Union High School.

The Odyssey of the Mind Kickoff will be on Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Learn about Odyssey of the Mind, talk to team members and coaches from previous years, have your questions answered.

Teams meet at their school, once or twice a week.

Parents are invited to coach. Most coaches are parents who are interested in working with their child along with a small group of creative students.   Coaches, with their teams, decide on the meeting times, usually after school or early evenings.

Odyssey of the Mind Wayland Team 2015 HS States.PNG

Students compete by grade level:

  • Primary Division - Grades 2 & below

  • Division 1 - Grades 5 & below

  • Division 2 - Grades 8 & below

  • Division 3 - Grades 12 & below


Looking for something fun, educational, creative and free for a school age student to do?

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Long-Term Problem Synopses for 2017-2018

All problems have an 8-minute time limit.

Problem 1: Triathlon Travels
On your mark…get set…go! In this problem, teams will ride on and drive original vehicles in an Odyssey-style triathlon. They will try to score in “curling,” hit the right targets when “jousting,” and “run track” by navigating a course in two directions. Between these events, the team will entertain the audience and the vehicle will change appearance. All of the action will take place in a team-created performance that features the vehicles’ triathlon travels, a commentator, and a coach.

Problem 2: Emoji, Speak for Yourself

Three-dimensional emojis will be used to communicate the life story of a once famous, but now forgotten, emoji. Teams will create a performance where the emojis demonstrate special functions like growing, turning into a team member, and changing into a different emoji. Performances will also include a choreographed dance, a technical representation of texting, and sounds to enhance the performance. The twist? No spoken language is allowed.

Problem 3: Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously?
There are often two sides to the same story. In this problem, characters don’t always agree as they recount the classic story where they appeared. The team will select a classic from a list and present different characters in a humorous documentary-style performance where details are added, denied, exaggerated, and disputed. There will be interviews, behind-the-scenes “clips,” and voice-overs that take the audience through the story and help present the events as they “really” took place. Whose side will you be on?

Problem 4: Animal House
Over the years, Odyssey of the Mind teams have designed structures that changed into many unbelievable shapes and sizes that balanced and held as much weight as possible. This year, teams will turn their balsa wood structures into animals! Since animals need to eat, they must be fed. The structure will have its appearance transformed and explained during an original performance. During the performance, the structure must hold the team-created food while it supports weights.

Problem 5: A Stellar Hangout
In the outreaches of the universe, there is an Intergalactic Hangout where all sorts of creatures from different worlds stop, eat, refuel, and relax. Teams will create a humorous performance centered on this science fiction hangout that includes original creatures, foods, and a search for space treasure. There will also be a worker character, entertainment, and a futuristic map at the hangout.

Primary: We’re Cooking Now (for Grades K-2)
Creativity heats up as teams create their own cooking show where a chef gives an original cooking lesson to a special guest. The show takes place from a creative kitchen where balsa wood is used to support a cookbook, a bowl, and an object of the team’s choosing. A special guest will visit and learn to cook from the chef by using team-created representations of food. Performances will also include a name for the show, theme music, and a story about the meal they are cooking.

Questions? Ideas? Comments?
Aaron Wissner: wissnera@waylandunion.org
Wayland Union Schools Odyssey of the Mind Coordinator