2022-2023 Bells Mill Odyssey of the Mind
Information and Registration | Page 1 of 4
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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: http://odysseyofthemind.com, and the Maryland state program website at http://mdodyssey.org.
Who is Eligible?
Grades 1-2 participate in Primary Division and Grades 3-5 in Division 1.  
When and Where
Program meetings for 2023-2024 will be on Friday afternoons at Bells Mill or outside if the weather will allow.  The program is anticipated to start on October 13.   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 or Sunday in the Spring.  We also hope to 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! For any teams that qualify and decide to attend, World Finals occurs late May.  
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 who are  parent volunteers and 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.
This years fee will be approximately $100, payable via Zelle or Venmo.  Fee covers team registration fees, t-shirt, materials for spontaneous problems, and other needs that arise.  The final fee will be requested once registration is complete for all students.
If You Are Interested in Enrolling
+ Sign up your child online (see following pages) no later than Friday, September 29. 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 (bellsmillodyssey@gmail.com) if you are willing to be a coach.
+ Pay for registration by October 13.  

Send any questions to bellsmillodyssey@gmail.com or call/text:
Jessica Farnsworth: 301-370-9813
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