Innovative Problems that Teach Creativity

Odyssey problems have challenged students to design mechanical dinosaurs, invent new factory machinery, build working vehicles, write a new chapter to Moby Dick, put a twist on classic artworks, turn Pandora’s Box into a video game, and so much more. Each year, the problems are different...but the goal is the same...to foster creativity in the minds of all students.

  • Vehicle

    Problem 1

    Teams design, build and operate vehicles of various size and with various power sources. Sometimes they drive the vehicles, and sometimes the vehicles perform tasks, such as overcoming obstacles or visiting other “countries” to retrieve artifacts.

  • Technical

    Problem 2

    Teams make innovative contraptions and incorporate artistic elements into their solutions. They might be asked to write an original musical score to play on a “new” type of instrument, or to build a robot with human characteristics, or to perform tasks using a chain reaction of snapping mousetraps.

  • Classics

    Problem 3

    The theme of this problem is based on the classical — from literature to architecture to art. Whether it’s writing an additional chapter to Moby Dick or bringing paintings to life, it’s always a terrific learning experience.

  • Structure

    Problem 4

    Teams design and build structures, using only balsa wood and glue. They test them by supporting and holding as much weight as possible — sometimes more than a thousand pounds! Teams usually present a skit as part of the Style presentation.

  • Performance

    Problem 5

    In this problem, teams present performances that revolve around a specific theme and incorporate required elements. Past themes include “morphing” objects, animals that express human emotions, and originating folktales.

  • Primary

    Problem 6 

    Yes, there is a Problem 6. Designed specifically for students in grades K-2, this non-competitive problem gives primary students an introduction to solving an Odyssey of the Mind problem. 

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Kentucky Odyssey of the Mind

PO Box 1163

Union, KY 41091

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