2017-18 Bells Mill Odyssey of the Mind
Information and Registration | Page 1 of 4
What is Odyssey of the Mind?
Odyssey of the Mind (OotM) is an international program aimed at developing creative problem solving skills in children of all ages (kindergarten through college). There are two general categories of problems: spontaneous and long-term. For spontaneous problems, children work as a team to solve a problem in a few minutes. For long-term problems, children work as a team over the course of several months to solve a more involved problem. The program encourages teamwork, critical analysis of ideas, learning how to listen to one another, effective conflict resolution, flexible creative thinking, and on-stage performance skills. For more info:
, and the Maryland state program website at
Who is Eligible?
Grades 1-2 participate in Primary Division and Grades 3-5 in Division 1.
When and Where
Program meetings for 2017-18 will be on Friday afternoons from 3:50-5:00 at Bells Mill. The fall meetings are Oct 13, Oct 20, Oct 27, Nov 3, Dec 1, Dec 8, Dec 15, and Dec 22. Beginning in December/January, many teams will likely add a few weekend meetings at parents’ homes to do additional work on the long-term problem for things like set and prop production. The Maryland State Tournament will be held on a Saturday in late Spring (we should know the date soon!), and it is essential that all Division 1 students be available to attend. Primary Division teams may compete as well, but without the competitive aspect. Plan to allocate the entire day for the event. We will also hold an assembly at Bells Mill roughly a week before the tournament as a “dress rehearsal” and to showcase each team’s hard work in front of an audience of their classmates! For any teams that qualify and decide to attend World Finals, those will be held at Iowa State University, May 23-26, 2018.
How Does It Work?
Success in the program depends on innovation, parent volunteerism, and hard work. Student members will learn creative thinking and must also expect to put a lot of effort into their long-term problem. The program is run entirely by parent volunteers. The OotM coaches (all of whom will be trained) will provide spontaneous problems and offer teaching in skills relevant to the program. However, work on the long-term problem is entirely team-driven – no one but the team members can generate ideas for solving the problem. Parents who do not serve as coaches can instead volunteer to help with many other necessary tasks throughout the year. Teams of 5-7 students will be formed based on grade level, interests, child preferences, and balance.
Fee is $65, payable via PayPal using the online registration form. Fee covers team registration fees, t-shirt, materials for spontaneous problems, and other needs that arise. If you don't wish to use PayPal, you may mail a check payable to "OM Bells Mill Chapter". Checks should include the name of your child(ren) and should be mailed to:
1 Lakenheath Ct
Potomac, MD 20854
If You Are Interested in Enrolling
+ Sign up your child online (see following pages) no later than Friday, October 6th. After that, we can only accommodate additional children if there are open slots.
+ Complete a separate registration for each child you wish to enter into the program.
+ Contact coordinators immediately (
) if you are willing to be a coach.
+ Pay for registration via PayPal or mailed check by October 6.
Send any questions to
Geeta Daniel: 301-379-2072
Gunay Dogan: 240-424-5466
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