By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Students from across the state will converge on Oklahoma State University for a problem-solving contest that challenges creativity.
“Odyssey of the Mind” takes place at the OSU Student Union from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
East Regional Director Martha Rongey said 40 teams from places including Edmond, Salisaw, Stillwater, Jenks and Owasso will compete.
“We do this because we believe creativity can be taught and it’s just an awesome program,” Rongey said. “It allows the students to think outside the box. It gives them skills that will be useful throughout their lifetime.”
Each student, competing in their own age group from Kindergarten to college-aged, has five problems to choose from when they are introduced in the Fall. They have approximately a year to put together their presentation and plan.
“They have to stay within a $125 budget,” she said. “Anything that appears on stage, including what they’re wearing, has to stay within that budget.”
Students can make their own props, costumes and items, with some items and materials being exempt. For example, soda can tabs have been linked together and used as chain mail.
“These kids are amazing to watch,” she said.
Every problem has a performance element and must be solved within eight minutes. Only 22 of the 40 teams will advance.
“On top of this problem that the kids are solving all year, the day of the competition they have to go into the room and solve a completely different problem on their feet,” Rongey said.
Points in this competition go toward their final score and are based on ingenuity and creative answers. Spectators are welcome to attend and watch.
“They can expect to see something that they’ve never seen before,” she said.
Admission is $1 and will allow spectators into any of the spaces being used in the Student Union for Odyssey of the Mind. For more information, email Martha Rongey at firstname.lastname@example.org.