WESTON, CT – Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind (CTOM) brought creativity to life this past weekend, hosting its 2023 CTOM Tournament at Southern Connecticut State University.
On March 18th, over 45 teams of students from grades Kindergarten through 12th grade participated in the CTOM creative problem-solving competition. Imagine trying to build an original team-made vehicle that can transport team members as they reclaim stolen treasure, build a three-part structure made of only balsa wood and glue that holds as much weight as possible or produce a performance all about dinosaurs. These are some of the complex problems that students from across Connecticut took on as part of the 2023 Connecticut State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament.
“Odyssey is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students at every age,” explained CTOM Board President Mimi Owen, “We were so excited to welcome our competitors and audiences back in person after pandemic disruptions.”
The CTOM program engages students through the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), while teaching public speaking, collaboration and leadership. Students from elementary through high school have been working since September in teams of up to 7 students under the guidance of a volunteer coach to develop a long-term problem solution and practice spontaneous problem-solving in order to compete in this event. For forty-two years, this unique program has helped Connecticut teachers, parents and coaches generate excitement in their students and team members. By tapping into creativity, and encouraging imaginative paths to unique solutions, students learn 21st Century skills needed to succeed in the competition, as well as in school and throughout life.
Odyssey of the Mind teams develop a solution to one of five Long-Term Problems in categories such as constructing a vehicle, creating a new take on a classic, building a balsa wood structure, solving a mechanical dilemma or crafting a performance. Importantly, there’s a strict rule that the team accepts no outside assistance, which means that they cannot ask for or receive help, even from their coaches, teachers or parents. The solution is 100% created by the students.
A complete list of participating schools and teams, as well as competition scores, can be found at www.ctom.org. Teams that finished in 1st or 2nd place of their problem and age division have received an invitation to participate in the 2023 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, being held in May at MIchigan State University.
More information may be found at www.ctom.org and www.odysseyofthemind.com.