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Oklahoma State University
The Honors College

Helping students fully realize their intellectual and personal potential.

Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind 

"Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment. Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential. OotM proves that students can have fun while they learn."

For more information on OotM, click here.


Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Competition


The Honors College will be sending a team of students to compete in the World Finals taking place at Iowa State University on May 27-30, 2020. OotM exemplifies an honors approach to education as teams are tasked with solving a problem not only using their technical, scientific knowledge but also integrating artistic elements such as storyline, costumes, acting, etc.

Our students will need to use this interdisciplinary mindset while they aim to address one of the following problems:


Problem 2: Net Working
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Computers, satellites, and servers work continuously to allow people from all over the world to network with each other. These networks give us access to information including communications, messages, and videos. In this problem, the networked devices are characters who work to keep the world connected. During the performance, an image, a text message, an email and other information will be transmitted between locations in a team-made system. Pop-up advertisements appear and a malware character will infect the network and take it offline. An anti-virus hero comes to the rescue and team-made instruments will be used to present an original song that explains their jobs.


Problem 3: Classics… The Effective Detective
Divisions I, II, III & IV
You will be introduced to one of the greatest detectives the world has ever known as they follow clues to uncover the truth behind some of history’s real-world mysteries. The detective will investigate different types of information, including a clue that is a “red herring” i.e. a distraction, and do intellectual battle with a supervillain who wants the detective to fail. Sounds will ring out and settings will creatively change to set the scene and highlight the action. The team will also be challenged to use the smallest space possible to store its solution.


Problem 4: Balsa Limbo 
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Teams will build balsa wood structures that are created by adjusting its interconnected parts. When the parts are not in the final form for weight testing, they must be able to pass under a limbo bar. Higher score will be awarded for how low the bar is when the structure passes under it. However, the bar is not allowed to be lower than ½”! The limbo bar test and maneuvering the structure for testing will take place during the performance time. Testing of the structure will take place during a performance with a theme about dancing and movement.


Problem 5: Gibberish or Not 
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Genius or not so smart, statements change from Gibberish at the start. Do the thoughts shine or miss the mark? Masses think they’re being led out of the dark. A Champion arranges meetings with those in power, and gibberish ideas bloom like a flower. The crowd replaces thoughts with wisdom, and a Child sees it is all just humdrum.  Misinterpreted over and again, twisted words fly in the end. Music blares and the celebration is wild, and misunderstanding is accepted by the child. The performance will explain why the child does not reveal the truth that what they believe is wisdom was really just gibberish.


Who Can Participate?

Odyssey of the Mind attracts teams of all age levels from across the globe. Students from Kindergarten all the way through college are able to participate in this battle of the minds. 

Current honors students interested in this opportunity should contact Honors Academic Advisor and K-12 Outreach Specialist, John Andrews:


Odyssey of the Mind Information


Odyssey of the Mind LogoOmer