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On Location: Odyssey of the Mind World Finals
07.22.04
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Image above: Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Credit: Odyssey of the Mind


Student teams from more than 80 middle and high schools around the globe learned about science, math, engineering and teamwork as they competed this past May in the World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind's Strategy Sphere problem, sponsored by NASA.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition in which students from kindergarten through college use creativity to solve problems that range from the technical to the artistic. The program celebrated its 25th anniversary at this year's World Finals, held at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md.

Strategy Sphere challenged each team to design and build two mechanical devices that could consistently shoot balls through a circular hoop, as well as a device to retrieve the balls after they were launched. The students then had to write and perform a skit in which the devices, balls and hoop represented the interaction of different Earth system processes.

In one team's skit, for example, the launcher was said to be a leaky air conditioner, while the balls represented CFCs being released into the atmosphere, and the hoop signified the resulting ozone hole.

Steve Graham, NASA's coordinator for Odyssey of the Mind, talked with several students at the World Finals about the competition, working as a team, their hobbies and their future careers...

Headshot of Audrey, a student from Viking Elementary School
Audrey
Viking Elementary School
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Headshot of Jim, a student from Benzie Central High School
Jim
Benzie Central High School
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Headshot of Joe, a student from Benzie Central High School
Joe
Benzie Central High School
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Headshot of Shain, a student from Magnolia Intermediate School
Shain
Magnolia Intermediate School
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You can also watch the video as a team from China puts their ball-propelling devices to the test.
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Related Resources

NASA's Odyssey of the Mind Web site
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Odyssey of the Mind
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Earth Science Enterprise