ODYSSEY OF THE MIND!
Odyssey of the Mind is an international creativity competition in which a team of seven students use teamwork, creative thinking, and ingenuity to solve tricky problems. The competition includes two parts: a spontaneous problem that rewards in-the-moment creativity; and a long-term problem in which the team, during the school year, creates an eight-minute play that they write, design, and perform themselves.
Irwin has a history of OM Success. Competition has three rounds. The Regional Tournament (early March) includes teams from seven area counties, with the top two teams for each "problem" advancing to State Finals. In our eight years competing in OM, four Irwin teams have advanced to States. At State Finals (early April), the best of North Carolina compete, with the top two advancing to World Finals. In our eight years competing in OM, three Irwin teams have made it to World Finals!
To see what OM looks like, here are two videos. In this first video, you will see our most recent World Finals-qualifying team in action, shown here at the State Finals in 2013. This problem was called "It's How You Look At It." The problem called for having one character whose behavior is considered odd in one setting, but normal in a different setting; and a second character where the reverse is true.
Our 2015 team finished second at Regionals, which advanced them to State Finals. In this second video, you will see their State Finals performance. This problem was called "Silent Movie." The problem required these elements: the team acting out a silent movie, accompanied by a team-created instrument; a trailer for another movie; a director character who explains why he made a silent movie in these times; a critic that reviews the movie; and the director's response to the critic.