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- lessons learned from my Odyssey career.

Jack Kralick, a recent High School graduate from Region 5, sums up the benefits he has gained from lifelong participation in Odyssey of the Mind perfectly. It forces you to recognize the necessity of absurdity in a rational solution!

Jack is currently a freshman at Binghamton University, triple majoring in Economics; History; and Philosophy, Politics, and Law. He is also a recipient of an Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) scholarship through Cornell, and an elected representative to Binghamton's Student Association. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, playing ping pong, and reading about the development of political theory. His idols would most likely be Jordan Peterson, Barry Goldwater, and John Wayne. Jack has just finished playing Fallout: New Vegas, and is anxiously awaiting the next Bethesda release!

NY Alumni … we would love to hear about how you are using those Odyssey skills in your everyday life, be it at home, at college, or in your workplace.

Contact us at to share your experience.

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Calling all OMers!

The New York Times is looking for kids to test an app they are developing:

It's “an IPad app full of a wide variety of how-tos - everything from designing an escape room, baking a cookie pizza, building a cosmic ray detector to inventing a new language."

Sounds like something OMers do all the time? That’s what we thought!

For more information: New York Times ‘How-to’ App

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Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Ready to take a look at this year's problems?

Problem 1: Escape vroOM

Odyssey teams take their problem-solving skills inside a box as they create a performance that includes one or more team-created vehicles that will help a group of characters escape an unusual room. The vehicle will travel to areas within the room and complete tasks. Each time it completes a task it will release a “clue” that the group will use in the next area to release the next clue, and so on. When the vehicle performs the final task, it will reveal a final clue that allows the group to escape the room and they discover the mystery behind the room!

Problem 2: Odyssey ReOMvention

Sponsored by ARM & HAMMER™

While no one knows what the future holds, it’s likely OMers will have an important role in it! To prove just that, teams will present a performance that identifies an original threat to the environment that self-replicates until a team-created technical reOMvention removes the threat. The team’s setting will reflect the threat and then return to its original state. The performance will also include original music, two animal characters, and must use ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda.

Problem 3: (Name Here): The Musical Production

Historical figures get an encore as OMers re-tell their stories in musical form. In this problem, teams will create a biographical musical about a selected historic figure. There will be three songs: an opening number, an emotional number whose music conveys an emotion, and one determined by the team. The performance will also include a lighting special effect, movement of scenery, and a membership sign that will appear as a marquee for the team’s musical.

Problem 4: Matryoshka Structure

It’s always the more the merrier with nesting dolls, also known as Matryoshka! In this problem, teams will design and build a Matryoshka Structure made of only balsa wood and glue that holds as much weight as possible. The 8+” structure will hold additional structures nested one inside the other. The more structures that are nested, the higher the score! Before weight placement can begin, the nested structures will be removed one-by-one to reveal a tiny character nested inside the smallest structure. The performance will have a theme about storage that includes placing weights, the structures, and the tiny character.

Problem 5: Life is a Circus!

Sometimes life seems like a circus! Teams will create a performance about a young person enjoying a regular life in our world who wakes up one day to discover they somehow were transported into a circus

world. In the circus world there will be original animals performing unexpected tricks, a clown, circus acts, and a ringmaster that announces the activities. The young person returns to the regular world thinking it was all a dream until they see a mysterious figure that turns out to be from the circus.

We all know where the wheels on the bus take us, how about the wheels on an OM-Mobile? In this problem teams will design and build one or more vehicles used to transport something. Teams will build a vehicle that is powered three ways: human power, gravity, and free choice (e.g. battery, wind). The vehicle will travel forward, backward, and turn to a side. The performance will also include a funny narrator, a mechanic character, a salesperson, and a song about transportation that has a lyric repeated three times.

Download PDF • 1.59MB

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