Odyssey of the Mind State Finals at UC Riverside April 2 Means Unbridled Creativity

This is the second year that state finals have been held at UC Riverside

Odyssey of the Mind teams compete at UC Riverside to see who will go to nationals.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — More than 1,000 K-12 students from all over California will converge at UC Riverside Saturday, April 2 for the statewide competition of Odyssey of the Mind.  The winning team will advance on to the national competition at Iowa State University in May.

The competition, which is open to the media, will challenge about 200 teams to provide creative solutions to problems that can only be solved merging math, science, engineering, and art with technology.

For example, this year’s challenges are:

“Design and build some kind of vehicle for two riders that will travel between two team-created ecosystems to process items for a recycling center.

“Design three different technical fishing methods that will allow a character to fish from a team-created pier area including something expected, something unexpected, and a new discovery.

“Create an original performance about a fable that has gone “viral.” The story will be shared using sight, sound, and a team-created “forgotten” method of communication.

“Design and build a balsa wood structure that can weigh no more than 18 grams, but can hold as much weight as possible, and teams must place weights, remove them, then place them again.” (Note: Previous winners have held more than 1,000 pounds!)

“Create a humorous performance showing three animals’ point of view while showing emotions and solving problems. Their solutions will help others, help each other, and solve a problem that threatens the survival of all animals.”

“When kids participate in this program it’s a life-changing process,” said Lynn Larsen, associate dean of Brandman University’s School of Education and Odyssey of the Mind’s volunteer state director. “It taps into so many things we’ve lost in the schools, such as the arts, team work, problem solving and opportunities for highly creative kids to express themselves. The more creatively they interpret their problems, the better. We’re always looking for that moment when the judges say, ‘I wouldn’t have thought of that,’ or ‘I can’t believe they came up with that!’”

UC Riverside hosts Odyssey of the MInd for all California teams.

UC Riverside hosts Odyssey of the MInd for all California teams.

LaRae Lundgren, associate vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment services at UC Riverside, said: “This is the second year that UCR has hosted the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament.  Given our experience last year whereby we experienced first-hand the intellectual curiosity and unbridled creativity of approximately 1,300 students and their incredibly engaged parents, we couldn’t say ‘no’ when Odyssey of the Mind asked us to host again.

“These students embody the characteristics desired in a collegiate environment: positive frame of mind, quick on their feet when challenges arise, and driven to magnificently succeed.  We’d love to have these students attend UCR in the future.”

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Lynn Larsen
Tel: 951-697-0111
E-mail: calomerdirector@yahoo.com

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