Please Note: These are not official Odyssey of the Mind Spontaneous problems but are supplied here as training tools for improving teams spontaneous skills. Official practice problems can be found if you purchase the books of spontaneous problems and sample problems can also be found on the Odyssey of Mind website.

Current Hands-on challenge:

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Hanging around

Your challenge is to hang as many items as possible so they are supported by the piece of string.

Set Up

Be sure to set up the site so a string is firmly in place and is between 5' to 8' long and approximately 30 inches above the floor. The string should be as close to level as possible. We suggest tying it to the legs of two tables or two chairs. Be sure the string cannot slide down. 

Give each team the following items to hang for score:

7 coins

6 pencils

5 Ping Pong balls

1 softball

 

Give each team in all divisions the following materials to use to hang the items:

5 plastic straws

1 sheet of paper, 8.5" x 11"

3 small cups, 4 - 6 oz.

3 small rubber bands

6 pieces of yarn,12" long

1 envelope

*The yarn should be sturdy and may be twine, or something else that won’t easily break.

For Division II teams add the following:

1 small rubber band

2 paper clips

For Division I teams add to the following to what is provided to Division II teams:

3 paper clips

2 pieces of masking tape, 12"

1 sheet of paper

1 small rubber band

2 small cups

Procedure

You have 8 minutes to solve the challenge. The judge will warn you when 2 minutes and when 1 minute remains. You can ask questions and talk to each other at any time.

 

Your challenge is to hang as many items as possible so they are supported by the piece of string.

 

You cannot change the setup.

 

On the table are materials to use to hang the items and a container holding the items. The container cannot be used in your solution and nothing else can be used.

 

You cannot use any single material, such as a straw, to hang more than two items onto the string. However, you may use the other straws to hang up to two items each.

 

Items must not touch anything except the string or materials or both.

 

Items must be held in the air on the string when time ends to count for score.

 

You will receive bonus score for each different method you use to successfully hang an item.

 

You can ask to be scored at any time. Competition is over when you ask to be scored or when time ends.

For Judges Only:

If more than two items use the same material (all or part) to be connected to the string, score only the two highest value items that use that material. The same material does not mean the same type of material, such as cups, it means the same exact material, such as a particular, single cup. Teams may duplicate methods. For example, they may use different paperclips to hang two cups that contain two items as long as they are independently connected to the string. This would score for four items but only one method. Using a cup in a different way would be a different method.

Scoring

You will be scored as follows:

Each Ping Pong ball successfully hung will receive 2 points.

Each coin successfully hung will receive 3 points.

Each pencil successfully hung will receive 5 points.

The softball successfully hung will receive 10 points.

Each unique method used to successfully hang any item will receive 5 points.

You will receive 1 to 10 points for how well your team works together.

Debriefing

Were team member tasks and responsibilities sorted out clearly?

Did the team use the materials effectively?

Was time used effectively?

What would the team do differently if they did it again?

Was it better to focus on numbers or point values of items to hang?