Odyssey of the Mind Helps Develop 21st Century Skills

Odyssey of the Mind Helps Develop 21st Century Skills

Complex technical and artistic problem solving

Global Awareness

  • Global competitiveness and understanding
  • Teams meet other teams from around the works and the annual World Finals

Intellectual curiosity

  • Research to find information needed to solve the problem
  • Choosing a problem and idea that is personally exciting

Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills Communication

  • Teamwork: consensus, collaboration, communication
  • Understanding and valuing the power of diversity within the team
  • Understanding personal strengths and weaknesses
  • Practicing active listening skills
  • Learning to value other team member’s ideas and contributions

Problem Solving & Creative and Critical Thinking

  • Analyze complex open-ended real world problems
  • Identifying challenges within the problem
  • Brainstorm possible technical solutions
  • Brainstorm possible thematic and artistic solutions
  • Evaluate potential solutions – How creative is this solution? Will other teams have thought of this?
  • Spontaneous: training your mind to generate creative solutions by analyzing and evaluation your ideas and learning to use targeted thinking strategies.


  • No outside assistance rule: teams generated research, solutions and decision making
  • Select potential solutions using scoring criteria
  • Planning for tournaments

Authentic Assessment Accountability and Adaptability

  • Team reflection of effectiveness during spontaneous practice
  • Team reflection of tournament results
  • Planning and refining for future tournaments
  • Create-test-improve-re-test best solutions

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