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Odyssey Academy

Become the best OMer you can be with Odyssey Academy! Dr. Jim Mourey— OM alum, long-time volunteer, World Finals Official, an OM Spirit Award Recipient and a marketing professor at DePaul University in Chicago — will guide you step-by-step through the entire OM experience.

Lesson 1: What Is OM?

An introduction for students, parents, teachers, and coaches to the OM experience (22 minutes)

  • What is OM?

  • What is divergent thinking?


  • Who else does OM?

  • The three parts of OM

  • What this class will do

Lesson 2: What Will You
Do In OM?

Find out about your role in OM and what’s expected from your team (15 minutes)

  • Working with a Team

  • With whom you cannot work

  • What is Outside Assistance

  • How Odyssey Academy works

Lesson 3: The Long Term Problems

The heart of the Odyssey of the Mind program (23 minutes)

  • What is a Long-Term Problem

  • The SIX LT Problem Categories

  • The LT Problem Structure

  • Age Divisions

  • Choosing your LT Problem

Lesson 4: Creativity & Brainstorming

Tools on HOW to come up with creative ideas (29 minutes)

  • What is creativity?

  • Associative network

  • What is brainstorming?

  • Brainstorming tools

  • Limitations, boundaries & creativity

Lesson 5: Solving The Long Term Problem

A walk-through on HOW to solve a LT problem (24 minutes)

  • What is your LT problem about?

  • What are the required elements?

  • How will those elements be scored?

  • Thinking about a calendar/schedule

  • Big picture/details/big picture

Lesson 6: Focus & Style

How to focus on your LT solution and the scored STYLE element (20 minutes)

  • Scoring and point allocation

  • Rubrics & Evaluations

  • What is Style?

  • Avoiding Style & LT Overlap

  • Points, points, points!

Lesson 7: How To Write A Skit

A skit-writing lesson from a professional and why it is needed in OM:

  • What is a skit?

  • Five-point scene structure

  • Proper formatting for scenes

  • Skit through the lens of point allocation

Lesson 8: Building Your Solution

Making your creative ideas reality:

  • What are props?

  • What are costumes?

  • What is a backdrop/scenery?

  • What MUST you have? Improv approach

  • Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT)

  • Problems 1, 2, & 4

Lesson 9: Tweaking For Improvement

Now’s a good time to take a step back and see if there’s room for improvement:

  • Does your solution solve the problem?

  • Revisit creativity

  • Keep it simple, silly

  • The curse of knowledge

  • Completely foreign v. Familiar with a twist

Lesson 10: Spontaneous

The third (but important!) component of OM:

  • What is Spontaneous

  • The three types of Spontaneous Problems

  • How to practice Spontaneous

  • The importance of keeping the “Sponto Secret”

  • Creativity, teamwork, & quick thinking

  • Use the skills you’ve acquired

Lesson 11: Practice, Practice, Practice

You have created your solution, decided on Style and worked on Spontaneous, now what? Practice!

  • What is Stage Presence?

  • Maximizing the 8 minutes

  • Choreographing every movement 

  • Pacing v. Speed Running

  • Your Millionth Time, The Audience’s First

  • Getting Feedback from Reactions

Lesson 12: The Paperwork

What is required and why you need it. Sound boring? Psst…it’s a way to get maximum score!

  • What is paperwork

  • Style form

  • Cost form

  • Outside Assistance form

  • Team List

  • Paperwork-not an afterthought

Lesson 13: How To Compete

It’s competition time, oh boy! Get rid of nervousness and get even better at OM (29 minutes)

  • Competition

  • Registering with your Association

  • Checking in and competition schedule

  • The LT flow

  • The Spontaneous flow

  • Virtual competition (if applicable)

Lesson 14: Understanding Judge's Scores

Making sense of what the judges are telling you (25 minutes)

  • Why is creativity scored?

  • Understanding the LT scoresheet

  • Understanding Style scores

  • Understanding Spontaneous scores

  • Raw scores v. Calculated scores

  • Special Awards

Lesson 15: Reflecting On What You've Learned

Congratulations! You have have completed Odyssey Academy. Reflect back on what you have learned and get creating!

  • What World Finals is like

  • Reflecting on your “Odyssey”

  • One last question…

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