EKU to Host Statewide Odyssey of the Mind Competition March 29

Approximately 700 of the best and brightest K-12 students from throughout Kentucky, along with their teachers, coaches and parents, will converge on the Eastern Kentucky University campus on Saturday, March 29 for the statewide Odyssey of the Mind competition.

The day-long event, spread over several campus locations, is an international education program whose mission is to develop creative thinking and problem solving skills in students that can be transferred to real-life situations. The public is invited to attend any part of the competition.

“Odyssey strives to inspire kids to find new ways to solve all types of problems through critical and creative thinking,” said Sarah Shaffer, Gifted and Talented coordinator at Model Laboratory School and the University liaison for the event.

This year, as every year, students will face a vehicle problem, a technical problem, a classics problem, a balsa structure problem, and a humorous problem.

 “The competition showcases each team’s accomplishments, exposes students to the ideas of others, and encourages them to work at their full potential,” Shaffer said.

Each team in the competition learns to use critical and creative thinking skills to develop multiple solutions. The top two teams in each division of each problem will advance to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Iowa State University in May.

“We are very excited about being back at EKU,” said Joan Coates, Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind director. “EKU has been terrific to work with, and we are very appreciative of all the work of Sarah Shaffer and the College of Education in sponsoring us on campus. These are some of the brightest students in Kentucky and we want to expose them to various colleges over their years of participation in the program. Hopefully, that might convince them to attend an in-state school.”

Coates said Odyssey represents a “non-traditional approach to learning that appeals to many types of students. The skills they learn in Odyssey are quite often the real-world type of learning. Through Odyssey the child will become more prepared to enter the world outside of school.”

 For more information about Odyssey of the Mind, visit kycreative.mis.net. For more information about the state competition, to form an Odyssey team at your school next year or to assist in any way, contact Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind Director Joan Coates at kyodyssey@fuse.net, or Shaffer at sarah.shaffer@eku.edu.

Published on February 04, 2014