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:

Chain links

Your challenge is, given the materials, create the longest possible chain possible.
Set Up

Anywhere with enough room to stretch out a long chain.


Give each team the following items: 2 pieces of construction paper, 1 paper plate, 4 mailing labels, 1 piece of yarn 12”, 2 plastic drink cups, and 3 pairs of scissors.



One minute to think and plan, 5 minutes to solve the problem


1.    The chain must be able to be picked up completely off the table (or floor) by two ends.

2.    The chain must be held in the air for 3 seconds.

3.    If the chain breaks or sags far enough that it touches the floor the measurement for length will be from the floor to the person furthest away.


5 pts for each inch in length measured in a straight line.

1 to 20 pts for teamwork 


Were team member tasks and responsibilities sorted out clearly?

Did the team use items effectively?

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