A Coach within “Odyssey of the Mind” chaperones a team from the day it is formed until the competition. She or he is mainly an organizer and motivator. Setting up a time and place to meet, registering the team for events and competitions, and looking up all necessary information are the main tasks of the Coach. Although she or he may stimulate the thinking process of the team with various excercises (brainstorming, spontaneous problems, etc.), the Coach may not interfere with the problem solution. It is not allowed to provide ideas, help with building the props or to apply the make-up of a team member before a performance. However, Coaches help when motivation is at an all-time low and when a conflict needs mediating. Team members especially love to be cheered up by a pizza or some candy from time to time …
A coach can be a teacher, a parent or older student. The school has to agree.
As a youth competition, “Odyssey of the Mind” serves an educational purpose. Creativity, teamwork and international understanding play a major role. Additionally, many other skills are trained within the program.
To learn more about why your school should participate as well as getting tips on initiating the program, please contact our Team Coordinators.
You may teach the team members skills they need for the solution of the problem, which they later can transfer to creating props and costumes. However, it is crucial to be aware of the Outside Assitance rule:
You may not provide ideas, influence the kids or work on costumes, props or texts used in the performance.
If you do, this may result in penalties for the team. Please do not forget that the childrens’ experience is even grander when they meet the challenges on their own!
“Odyssey of the Mind” in Germany began in the state of Brandenburg. The program was evaluated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and is listed as an endorsed competiton.
Past and present Ministers of Education in Brandenburg have been patrons of Odyssey of the Mind competitions. Recently, Minister Dr. Martina Münch was the patron of the Eurofest 2013.
Various school districts have supported the participation of their schools, for instance by paying the participation fees.
Schools have to pay a small membership fee to Odyssey of the Mind Deutschland e.V., 75 € for their first year and afterwards 150 € per school year.
Teams who participate in the German Finals will have to pay a competition fee of 10-15 € per person. One Coach per team is exempt from this fee! In return, all participants receive the annual Odyssey t-shirt and other small complimentary favors. Not included are costs for transportation, accommodation or catering.
Of course, teams need materials, tools, etc. They may be able to find some of these at their parents’ workshops, at school or in the recycling. Some of it will have to be bought, however each Long-term problem includes a cost limit of about 100 €. These costs may be covered by a cake sale, for example.
If a team qualifies for the World Finals and wishes to participate, or it registers for the Eurofest, additional transportation costs and participation fees apply.
Let them solve a few spontaneous problems. Explain the most important rules of “Odyssey of the Mind” and present the current Long-term problem synopses.
Tell parents about the program. They want to know which projects their kids are involved in. Explain how they can help and what they are not allowed to do.