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Our mission began in 1978 and remains unchanged. We seek to…

Foster original and creative thinking and to make learning fun.



Problem 1 :: Mechanical Golf

Divisions - not yet invented!

Design a device that will hit a golf ball a distance of 3 feet. The only source of energy that can be used to trigger the device is a rubber band. The golf ball, while traveling on the course, must put out a birthday candle, set off a mousetrap, and end up in a 7 ounce paper cup.

Problem 2 :: Audio Guidance System

Divisions - not yet invented!

Develop a method to communicate nonverbally between a five-member team. One member of the team will be blindfolded and will be guided by the four remaining members. The blindfolded member will be guided along an irregular path using an audio guidance system. As the blindfolded member passes along the irregular course, he/she will use a “blowgun” to shoot at balloons. The blindfolded member will receive nonverbal signals from the other members.

Problem 3 :: - not yet invented!

Divisions

Problem 4 :: - not yet invented!

Divisions

Problem 5 ::- not yet invented!

Divisions

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Mini Golf

Divisions - not yet invented!

Design a device that will move a regular golf ball over given fairways and into a 3″ diameter hole. The device may not work on the principle of a golf club, i.e., a golfer swings a club which strikes a ball. You may not hold a straight or curved object and swing it to hit the ball. The device may work on an alternative energy source, contain a linkage system, or be of a “contraption” nature.

Problem 2 :: Rampmobile

Divisions - not yet invented!

One student from each team will ride a vehicle, designed and built by the team, down a ramp, stopping the vehicle with precision. A sharp pencil will be attached to the vehicle as a reference point. The propulsion will be gravity; however, other sources may be used. The Rampmobile should include a system for stopping and may include an additional propulsion system for precise movement or adjustment when near the target.

Problem 3 :: - not yet invented!

Divisions

Problem 4 :: - not yet invented!

Divisions

Problem 5 :: - not yet invented!

Divisions

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Wild Vibes

Divisions - not yet invented!

The team is to create musical instruments and play from a specific selection of tunes. The team will form a “band.” (No previous musical ability is necessary.) The tune/tunes must be played for a minimum of one minute and a maximum of two minutes.

Problem 2 :: Go, Rocky, Go

Divisions - not yet invented!

The team is to design and build a device that will carry five pounds of granulated rock (i.e., sand, gravel, etc.) as far and straight as possible. The only energy input allowed to move the device is the same five pounds of sand. The sand is allowed to fall/move from a height of 2 feet. This is approximately 10 foot-pounds of force. (5 lbs. x 2 ft. = 10FP)

Problem 3 :: Superstructure

Divisions - not yet invented!

Problem 4 :: Gone Fishing

Divisions - not yet invented!

Design something to help your team catch fish. Different fish are worth different points. The easier fish are worth less and the more difficult fish are worth more. In a 3-minute period see how many points your team can score.

Problem 5 :: Robby, the Anti-Smoking Robot

Divisions - not yet invented!

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health and people should stop, or better yet, never start! Our friend Smokey is a 30-inches-high smoker and we want him to quit. We have talked to him time and time again, but to no avail. It’s time for your team to create Robby, the anti-smoking robot. Robby Robot will travel a distance of approximately 6 feet, remove a cigarette from Smokey’s mouth, place it in a can, pour an ounce of water on it, speak to Smokey, and travel another 6 feet to Robby’s pad. (The quicker the better.)

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Bucketball

Divisions I, II & III

Bucketball is a game where eleven tennis balls are removed from the team’s bucket and put into a scoring bucket. Once the signal to play is given, no one may physically touch the team’s bucket or any of the tennis balls. Each team member will have a 2-minute period to play. Each ball entering the scoring bucket will be worth (2) points; however, red bonus balls will be worth 10 points. One person from each team will play for 2 minutes, then a second person from each team will compete for a 2-minute period and so on.

Problem 2 :: Emotionally Speaking

Divisions I, II & III

Each team must select four of the following emotions: (a) adoration, (b) fear, (c) hate, (d) grief, (e) joy, (f) anxiety, (g) greed. In a 2-minute performance, they must depict one emotion visually (no sound may be used; however, they may use props), one emotion auditorally (with sound behind a screen; however, they cannot state the emotion being portrayed); one tactile (by touching only other team members or props), and one using a combination of either two or three of these methods. The methods may be used in any sequence.

Problem 3 :: Super Structure II

Divisions I, II & III

Each team will build a structure to support 15 pounds on one side, 25 pounds on an adjacent side, and as much weight as possible from the top. The structures are made of balsa wood and glue. No laminations are allowed.

Problem 4 :: Twinkle Trek

Division I

Teams of astronauts just landed on the planet “winkle.” They must collect specific colored samples from Twinkle’s surface and place them in matching colored astro-containers for transport. Sounds are forbidden on Twinkle; therefore, the only means of communication is visual. Two members of each team are designated as “explorer” astronauts. The remaining three team members are designated as “mission control” astronauts. The team must develop visual signals that the mission control astronauts can use to guide the explorer astronauts to avoid crater hazards, and to gather Twinkle samples from the Twinkle pit and safely place them in their matching colored astro-containers.

Problem 5 :: Windy Cool Rod

Divisions II & III

Each team will design and build a “Windy Cool Rod.” This will carry one member of the team as far and straight as possible. The energy used to propel Windy will be two typical 20-inch window fans. The team that travels the farthest distance receives the most points.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: The Omonauts

Divisions II & III

The team members are explorers from the planet Odyssey whose mission is to collect samples on Earth to bring to Odyssey for analysis. Each team will design and construct an electric Earth exploration vehicle, which is powered by a 12-volt automobile battery. The vehicle or devices attached to the vehicle collect the samples. The Omonauts may operate the collection devices only form the vehicle by a choice of energy, but not by using hand-held devices. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem 2 :: Monsters Menacing Mankind

Divisions I, II & III

Teams will create a Super Hero or Heroine, a Mankind Menacing Monster and, an Endangered Creature. Each team must rescue its Endangered Creature and capture their opponent’s Endangered Creature. They may also shoot Velcro darts at the opposing character. Two teams play at once.

Problem 3 :: The Cruppets

Divisions I, II & III

Cruppets are creative puppets. From a given list of celebrities the team will select one and make a Cruppet depicting that celebrity. The other four Cruppets will be conceived and constructed by the team. The team will prepare an original script, background paintings, playbill, and title card.

Problem 4 :: Strike It Rich

Divisions I

The team is a group of gold prospectors. They are to “pan” for gold and then give the bags of “nuggets” to one person on the team called a “runner.” The runner is blindfolded and it is up to the rest of the team to direct the runner safely along the trail to the “assayer’s office” in the town. They may not speak to or touch the runner while giving directions. They are to develop an audio communications system to guide the runner.

Problem 5 :: Earthquake Structure

Divisions I, II & III

The team is to build a structure made of balsa wood and glue. No laminations or strengthening is allowed. Each team will place weights on the structure and cause intermittent vibrations (earthquakes) until the structure breaks.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Leonardo daVinci Spring Car

Divisions II & III

Each team will design and construct an LDSC (Leonardo daVinci Spring Car). The springs are the only source of energy permitted to move the vehicle. The team members will drive the vehicle, which must be able to navigate a course and be able to stop and back up with a reasonable amount of precision. During its journey, it must also be changed from a 16th-century-design vehicle into a 1980′s design vehicle.

Problem 2 :: Humor from Homer

Divisions I, II & III

Each team will select a scene from Homer’s Odyssey, write a humorous version of the scene, and create background settings, props, puppets/robots, etc., and use them in the performance of their adaptation of a famous scene. The scenes will be chosen from (a) Odysseus and Calypso, (b) Odysseus and the Lotus-eaters, (c) Odysseus and the Cyclops Polyphemus, (d) Odysseus and Aeolus, (e) Odysseus’ encounter with Circe and his descent into Hades, and (f) the Contest to String the Bow of Odysseus.

Problem 3 :: Pirates and the Queen’s Treasure

Division I

Each team is a group of privateers trying to retrieve as much of the queen’s lost treasure as possible. Of special importance is a necklace belonging to the queen. In a quest to retrieve the treasure, the team will encounter a band of pirates. The team has to create ways to retrieve the treasure and create ways to shoot the pirates.

Problem 4 :: Miner’s Helper

Divisions I, II & III

Each team is a group of mining engineers. They will create, construct, and operate a Miner’s Helper, which will travel along a path to an area where it will gather specific materials.

Problem 5 :: Wrecking Ball Structure

Divisions I, II & III

Each team will build a structure of balsa wood and glue. No laminations or strengthening is allowed. Each team will place weights on the structure until it breaks. One time per minute a judge will cause a direct hit to the structure with a wrecking ball. This procedure will continue until the structure is broken or time runs out.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Chariots of Rescue

Divisions I, II & III

Design and construct a Chariot of Rescue. The weight and limited body movements of the driver will be the only sources of energy permitted to propel the chariot (no pedaling except in the elementary division). The driver of the chariot must rescue ten inanimate “endangered subjects” without touching them by hand and then deposit them in a “safe” area. (Three different rescue methods must be designed to do this.) Immediately following the rescue, a team member must race the chariot over a prescribed course. Cost limit: $40 USD

Problem 2 :: Camelot

Divisions I & II

Accomplish a number of “brave things” and “Good deeds” on a prescribed course while being blindfolded. Team members ” King Arthur, Guenever, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain and Sir Galahad ” must communicate with one another with methods other than language. The specific tasks are: (1) King Arthur must pull the sword, Excalibur, from a stone; (2) Sir Gawain must joust the Green Knight; (3) Sir Lancelot must remove a dragon’s fire; and (4) Sir Galahad must rescue a damsel in distress. King Arthur and the Knights must also rid the world of “evil.”

Problem 3 :: Classics… Moby Dick

Divisions I, II & III

Create and act out a new chapter to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in which Ishmael, the only sailor to survive Moby Dick’s sinking of a whaling ship, describes to his rescuer a part of the story of Moby Dick. The object will be to artistically include color slides illustrating the “flashback” being discussed, a sculpture of a whale, a drawing or painting of a whale scene, and an article of scrimshaw. The team will create a script, a playbill, and, a background or props.

Problem 4 :: Mousemobile Relays

Divisions II & III

Design and construct five vehicles, each of which will use a mousetrap as its only source of energy. The vehicles will compete in a relay race with other teams’ vehicles to stay within its boundaries and break a balloon after it crosses its finish line. Each raceway segment will be 20- to 30- feet-long.

Problem 5 :: Strategy Structure

Divisions I, II & III

Design and construct a structure of balsa wood and glue that will bear the greatest weight. A section of the structure, at least ¾ in length, must be removed after each 25 pounds of weight is added. This process will continue until the structure is broken or time runs out. The structure must be within 8″ and 8.5″ high and must not exceed 18 grams in weight. Time limit: 12 min.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Ecology Dozer

Divisions II & III

Design, build and drive a vehicle powered by one or two hydraulic jacks. The driver will operate the vehicle (dozer), pick up four trees in one-pound cans from a tree farm and transplant them in designated areas. The team will then change drivers for a return trip. The dozer must be operated by raising the lift or piston of the jack via hydraulic power. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $40 USD.

Problem 2 :: The Big Top

Divisions I & II

Create a performance in which animals portrayed by the team perform tricks, acts, etc. One team member must be a Ringmaster, another may be an animal trainer. The animals may be real or imaginary, but one must be a two-person animal and one must be “raggedy” in a costume costing no more than $1. All props and costumes must be made by team members. No live animals may be used. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $36 USD

Problem 3 :: Music, Maestro, Please

Divisions I, II & III

Select a classical music composition from a given list and use it to accompany a performance or visual presentation of the team’s design. The presentation must be based on an event in the life of the composer, the composer’s reaction to events of his time, a dramatic idea or story, an artistic display (painting, sculpture), a natural phenomenon (storm, dawn, river), promoting an idea or product, ( “Join the army”, “Vote for Jones” ), or a fantasy. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $40 USD.

Problem 4 :: Hi Tech, Smarty Pants

Divisions I, II & III

Design, build and operate a robot, “smarty Pants,” to provide answers to questions in math, science, social studies and geography; recite or display two historical facts; pick up trash; and hand in a term paper for Pat, who is sick. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $40 USD.

Problem 5 :: Compound Fracture

Divisions I, II & III

Design and build a series of structures out of balsa wood and glue to support the greatest weight. The structures will be four total: two base supports 3″ x 3″ x 3″ in each direction; one beam structure not less than 8 inches in length that sits atop the base supports; and one load-bearing structure that will sit atop the beam and will be the only piece in contact with the weights. The series of structures must be at least 8″ inches high and weigh no more than 35 grams.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Technocrats

Divisions I, II & III

Design, develop and mass-produce a creative product. The design and production planning will be completed in advance, but the mass production will occur during competition. The team will produce ten reasonably identical items, package them, and place them on a shipping dock. The finished products must be user-ready and must work. Extra points may be earned by spending and by using multiple team-made components and different types of materials. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 2 :: History: The Way It Was

Divisions I, II & III

Select an historic event from a provided list and present a humorous interpretation of “how it really happened.” The performance must be live but other media may be used also. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $45 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Great Art Lives

Divisions I, II & III

Paint and/or sculpt two works by one of a given list of art masters, copying the original as accurately as possible. One work will serve as decoration. A second will be the subject of a live team performance in which the performers will begin or end in the position of the subjects of the work of art chosen. A third and original work will be created by the team in the style of the master. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $45 USD.

Problem 4 :: Treasure Hunters

Divisions II & III

Prepare a computer program that produces computer output for guiding team members in successfully retrieving and moving several items on a 49-square grid laid out on the floor. During competition, the team will randomly select a map indicating the location of the items and a hazard. The computer program must be developed in advance and modified during competition. Based on the output provided by a computer operator, two team members (Communicators) will direct two other team members (Hunters) in traveling from square to square, retrieving and moving the items as required. Communicators must direct the Hunters only by sight (no talking or touching). Each square may be entered only once, diagonal moves are prohibited, and each Hunter is limited to 25 moves total. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $40 USD.

Problem 5 :: Bridging the Gap

Divisions I, II & III

Design and build a pair of structures using strips of balsa wood glued to support the greatest weight. The structures will include a beam 12 to 18 inches in length and a load-bearing element, not more than 6 inches in length, which sits atop the beam. Each structure must be at least 2 inches high, and the pair of structures must be 8 to 8.5″ inches high. The pair must not weigh more than 25 grams. During competition, the beam rests on two 2-inch by 4-inch blocks placed 11 inches apart. Time limit: 8 min.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: OMER to the Rescue

Divisions I, II & III

The team will create a minimum of three live characters. These must be OMER, Sidekick, and a distressed person. OMER and Sidekick travel with a suitcase. They open their suitcases, which contain the parts to a vehicle. The vehicle will then be assembled. OMER and/or Sidekick will then leave on the vehicle and proceed to relieve a person in distress, stop a crime, rescue a lost kitten and do two good deeds of the team’s choosing. The vehicle will be disassembled and replaced in the suitcases. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 2 :: Classics… Poetic License

Divisions I, II & III

From a given list of poets and their specific works, the team is to create a parody, satire, or an allegory of the poem in poetic form. The team will make props, a background, etc. and perform the solution. One or more team members, either live or in puppet form, will portray the original poet, i.e. Browning, Longfellow, etc. This poet must read, recite or sing the original work. At some other time during the performance, a member of the team will read or recite the parody. The team will also prepare a playbill for the judges and the audience. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 3 :: Cro-Magnon

Divisions I & II

The team is to create a performance that takes place, at least in part, in a cave-like setting during our prehistoric past, such as the Paleolithic period. The team will show something that was discovered, invented, or made during our primitive past and give its interpretation of this event. This may be done seriously or humorously. Time limit: 7 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 4 :: Chain Reaction

Divisions II & III

This is a non-linguistic problem. The problem is to use standard mousetraps to cause a chain reaction. The first mousetrap will be set off by a team member. When the first mousetrap is set off, it will then cause another and then another until fifty mousetraps have been released. During the chain reaction, the energy from a single mousetrap’s spring will trigger other mousetraps that will then achieve eleven specific tasks such as breaking a balloon, raising a flag, etc. The team will also estimate the competition time needed from setting off the first mousetrap until the last task, the ringing of a bell, takes place. Time limit: 9 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 5 :: Decision Structure

Divisions I, II & III

This is a non-linguistic problem. The problem is to design and construct a single balsa wood structure made of 1/8″ x 1/8″ strips of balsa wood and glue which will balance and support weights. It may range between 9″ to 11″ high. The higher the structure, the more bonus weight will be given. Weights will then be placed onto the structure, one at a time, until the structure breaks or the time limit expires. Time limit: 8 min.

Primary Problem :: - not yet invented!

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Atlantis

Divisions II & III

Design a “submersible” vessel with remote-control arms from which occupants(s) will collect artifacts and sea samples from Atlantis, including a statue, pottery, a humorous Atlantis item, an Atlantis coin, an Atlantis map and a sea creature. The team will also create a scenario that includes a sea monster and a crisis. Time limit: 10 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 2 :: The Gift of Flight

Divisions I, II & III

Make and operate a series of aircraft:

    1. a folded paper airplane launched by hand to stay aloft as long as possible;
    2. a glider launched by hand to fly through a specified target area;
    3. a rubber band-powered airplane to fly across a course.

Divisions I & II:

    1. an aircraft of any material launched by pulling a string to fly across the course and break a balloon;
    2. a kite or balloon aircraft to stay aloft for 20 seconds and to be flown for accuracy;
    3. three folded paper airplanes thrown by hand to land on a target.

Division III:

  1. a folded paper airplane launched by a standard mousetrap;
  2. a kite or balloon aircraft that will transfer five ping-pong balls into containers;
  3. an aircraft that will emerge from a closed container and fly at least 10 feet.

Time limit: 9 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… It’s Showtime

Divisions I, II & III

Develop and execute a musical scene using one from a designated list of classics (books, stories and plays) as its basis. The team will also present an oral summary of the original work and, in advance, present a playbill to the judges. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 4 :: Straddle Structure

Divisions I, II & III

Design and construct a structure of balsa wood and glue that will balance and support the greatest weight. The structure must straddle an octagon base 1″ high and 7″ across. The structure must measure 8 to 8.5″ inches in height and may not exceed 15 grams in weight. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $25 USD.

Problem 5 :: Comics

Divisions I & II

Select a cartoon character(s), make a large graphic cartoon(s) and portray the character(s) in live form performing one to four humorous skits. The team will also produce a playbill and include music in its performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Primary Problem :: The Coronation

Grades K-2

Create a King, Queen, Prince and/or Princess, make background props and perform a Coronation ceremony. Time limit: 7min. Cost limit: $35 USD.

Problem 1 :: Just In Time

Divisions I, II & III

Design and produce a transportation system consisting of five battery-powered vehicles carrying costume parts to each teammate. Costume parts will arrive “just in time” to change the team’s appearance. Vehicles will run in paths that will allow them to crash into one another if their movements are timed incorrectly. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 2 :: Cause and Effect

Divisions II & III

Perform specific tasks by using the movement of a billiard or pool cue ball as the initial energy source:

  1. Flip something over;
  2. Cause the letters to appear for a minimum of 3 seconds;
  3. Pour 4 to 6 ounces of water into a container from another container holding a minimum of 24 ounces of water;
  4. Set something free;
  5. Turn on a light(s);
  6. Break a balloon;
  7. Activate or start something moving;
  8. Create and complete four additional tasks of the team’s choosing;

9. Give a signal showing the end of the cause and effect tasks.

Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Ye’ Gods

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Select one or more mythical characters from a given list and familiarize the audience with a myth(s) about them. Also present an advertising campaign relating to an imaginary or true product, service, tourist attraction or political candidate. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 4 :: Do More With Less

Divisions I, II & III

Design and construct a balsa wood and glue structure that will balance and support the greatest weight. Structure must measure 8 to 8.5″ inches in height and may not exceed 15 grams in weight. The score will be determined by the pounds of weight supported per gram weight of the structure. Time limit: 8 min.

Problem 5 :: Fabulous Fables

Divisions I & II

Create a fable and perform the team’s interpretation of how a moral(s) came into existence. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Primary Problem :: Mannerly Moppets

Grades K-2

Create a performance illustrating the need for a certain rule of etiquette. Time limit: 7 min. Cost limit: $35 USD.

Problem 1 :: Geographic Odyssey

Divisions II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build and drive a vehicle powered by the rowing motion of one or more team members while riding on it. The team will use the vehicle on a geographic expedition. For its expedition, the team will make observations of one or more aspects of three different existing countries. These aspects will be portrayed by the team. After making these observations, the team will run its vehicle in a flag-placement race. During this race, a team member(s) on the vehicle will place flags from different countries onto specific locations. Time limit: 11 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 2 :: Omitronic Humor

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team will develop and perform a comedy routine or a skit about a comedy routine. In addition the team will design, build and operate an original animated character that shows specific reactions and emotions. This Omitronic character will smile, shed tears, look surprised, look bored and show two reactions or emotions of the team’s choosing. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… The Seven Wonders of the World

Divisions I, II, & III

The team’s problem is to create and present a performance based on the seven wonders of the ancient world. The team must include the following in its performance:

  1. Team-made replicas of six of the original seven ancient wonders that it recommends for reconstruction.
  2. A model of the remaining lost ancient wonder that it recommends for reconstruction.
  3. Replacements for the five lost wonders (excluding the pyramids and the one recommended for reconstruction). These are a great undertaking by a group of people; an architectural or artistic achievement; something that had, has or could have a significant benefit to society; something apparently absurd with a logical reason for its selection; and a free choice of the team.

Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 4 :: Structures In Harmony

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to design and construct prefabricated structure parts made of balsa wood and glue. These must be combined to make a single structure that will balance and support weight. Teams must assemble their prefabricated structure parts into one complete structure at the competition site. Teams may use straight pins for assembly. An important part of this problem is not only to design and construct a good structure, but to assemble it within a 15-minute period. Time limit: 8 min.

Problem 5 :: Recycle

Divisions I & II

The team’s problem is to develop a nonverbal communication system to guide blindfolded team members (collectors) through a course laden with trash and obstacles. One team member will be the dispatcher. Three blindfolded members will each pick up trash and take it to one of three transfer stations. The other blindfolded member, called the hauler, will collect the trash from the transfer stations and take it to the recycling center. Here, the hauler will attempt to empty the trash into the appropriate bins while blindfolded. The team must also place one container of “hazardous waste” in the hazardous waste site. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Primary Problem :: Friends of Nature

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: OMER’s Buggy Lite

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create a theme that incorporates a lightweight battery-powered vehicle that the team designs, constructs and drives. The vehicle must attempt to attach itself to a trailer, tow the trailer, detach the trailer, travel between specific locations, move in reverse, and come to rest in a specified parking place. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 2 :: Give and Go

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to make four separate devices that relay tennis balls from different locations into containers. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Pompeii

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present an original performance that includes a scene that takes place in the ancient city of Pompeii before or during its devastation. The performance must be supported with team-made works of art/artifacts presented in various media. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 4 :: Super Collider

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to make and test a balsa wood structure. The structure will be tested to hold weight. The weight stack will be impacted with a collider to cause twisting and vibrations, affecting the structure. Time limit: 8 min.

Problem 5 :: Transformation

Divisions I & II

The team’s problem is to create and present a performance that shows a series of real or imaginary changes or evolutions of something. Photographs and/or drawings illustrating each phase of the transformation must also be presented. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Primary Problem :: Bedtime Story

Grades K-2

The team’s problem is to create an original bedtime story and perform a skit where a team member must tell the story to help someone sleep.

Problem 1 :: Hybrid Relays

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build and run five small vehicles. Each vehicle will be powered in a different way. These are electric (batteries), mechanical energy, pneumatics (air), a power source causing vibrations, and one free choice of the team. The vehicles will be run for accuracy; however, some must overcome obstacles. Each vehicle will attempt to complete one segment of a course and try to break a balloon target. The first vehicle will carry a flag that will be transferred to the next vehicle, and so on. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 2 :: Delayed Reaction

Divisions II & III

The team’s problem is to use the movement of a weight to complete specific tasks in a delayed manner. The weight must always remain in one area of the competition site while the completion of the tasks takes place in another. There are eight tasks to be completed. There must be at least 5 seconds between the completion of each task. Time limit: 9 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Alice in OMERland

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present a performance about an adventure(s) through its own OMERland. The performance must include Alice; music; poetry; something or someone that increases in size; a plant, flower or tree that comes to life; an eccentric character; a manufactured item that becomes animated; and a humorous invention. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 4 :: Atlas

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to design and build a balsa wood structure to balance and support as much weight as possible. The amount of balsa wood permitted to build the structure will increase for various levels of competition. This will be 10 grams at local and regional competitions, 14 grams at state, province and country finals, and 18 grams at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Time limit: 8 min.

Problem 5 :: Architecture: The Omument

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and perform a skit that includes an original monument. The monument may be dedicated to any person, place or thing the team wishes. During the performance the team must explain what the monument is and why it was developed. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Primary Problem :: Scientific Clowns

Grades K-2

The team’s problem is to create clowns and perform a skit. In the skit the clowns will teach something about natural science (animals, plants, insects, etc.) and/or our physical world (gravity, water, heat, etc.). The clowns must present scientific facts during the performance. Time limit: 7 min. Cost limit: $35 USD

Problem 1 :: Pit Stop

Divisions II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build and drive a vehicle powered by one or two mechanical jack(s). It will travel a course and make pit-stops. At some point the vehicle will travel in reverse. Its physical characteristics will change and it will make part of its journey in “full glory.” Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 2 :: Classics… The Old Man and the Sea Analogy

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present a performance based on Hemingway’s classic, The Old Man and the Sea. The performance will incorporate a parody or an analogy of the team’s interpretation of the story. The performance will also include a conclusion. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $80 USD.

Problem 3 :: Folk Tales

Divisions I & II

The team’s problem is to create a performance that includes a team-originated folk tale, one or more team-originated legendary or mythical characters, and two or more quotes from a given list. One or two of these characters will be portrayed as the originators of the quotes. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $80 USD.

Problem 4 :: Dinosaurs

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to create and present a story about dinosaurs. The performance will include team-made dinosaurs, one or more of which will perform technical tasks. Teams will also make a new dinosaur discovery that, for now, we will call a “creativosaurus.” The performance will have a theme that ties together the various required aspects. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 5 :: Which End Is Up?

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to design and build a balsa wood structure to balance and support as much weight as possible. One end, the top or bottom, must fit entirely over a 6″ x 6″ x 1″ block. The opposite end must fit entirely within a 4″ x 4″ x 1″ pace. Time limit: 8 min.

Primary Problem :: ‘Lil Gourmet

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: MTV (Mini Terrain Vehicles)

Divisions II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build, and run a minimum of three vehicles to accomplish specific tasks. The vehicles will be run for accuracy. At each segment of the course, a vehicle will attempt to overcome an obstacle or encounter a difficulty, reach its finish line and break a balloon target. Each team will face eight course segments of which the seven highest scores will count. At the World Finals, two of the obstacles will be different from two of those in other levels of competition. In addition, the team must create and present a theme for its solution. This problem is nonlinguistic for Divisions II and II and linguistic for Division IV. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 2 :: Unbelievable Music

Divisions I, II & III

The team’s problem is to design and construct a minimum of three devices that, when combined, will play a tune. The tune will first be presented to the judges and audience in any way the team chooses, e.g., using a cassette, instrument(s), voice(s), etc. Later in the performance there will be a recital in which the tune will be played by the team’s devices. During this recital, team-made illustrations complementing the tune will appear. A conductor will also be included. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… The Iliad

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present a performance of one scene chosen from a given list of scenes from the Iliad. The team will also present an historical scene that took place during the twentieth century that will include one or more gods and goddesses from the Iliad scene. The team must either present a transition between the scenes from the Iliad and the twentieth-century scene, or show some connection or relationship between the two. The team will also create one work of art that will be included in both scenes. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $80 USD.

Problem 4 :: Set It Free

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design and build a structure of balsa wood and glue. The structure’s design must allow a ping-pong ball to be placed inside the structure after it has been weighed in at the competition. The structure will be tested by balancing and supporting as much weight as possible while protecting the ping-pong ball and releasing it when the structure breaks. When the structure breaks, the ping-pong ball will be released. If it comes to rest on the tester, or beyond the tester, the team will receive bonus points. This is a nonlinguistic problem for Division I and a linguistic problem for all other divisions. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 5 :: Furs, Fins & Feathers

Divisions I & II

The team’s problem is to create and present a humorous performance depicting the life of an animal from the animal’s perspective. The performance will include the animal and an interaction between it and one or more human beings. During the performance the animal will display four feelings or emotions from a given list. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Primary Problem :: Masquerade Party

Grades K-2

This non-competitive problem offers teams the opportunity to create a performance about a masquerade party. During the performance the team members will each dress in a costume. They will represent real people, fictional people, animals, objects, etc., and must tell or show the audience and judges why each character/object was selected and the good the character/object did for society. At least some portion of the performance must be humorous. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Scientific Safari

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, construct and drive a safari vehicle that will be propelled by two types of power. The duel-powered vehicle will leave a Camp and be driven on a safari where it will encounter team-constructed animals. The team will tag some animals and stop poachers. The team will also make a trailer that will be towed by the vehicle during part of the safari. In addition, the team will develop a theme for its safari. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 2 :: The Mail Must Go Through

Divisions II & III

The team’s problem is to design, develop and implement a system(s) that will sort and transport domestic mail, foreign mail, packages and two express packages. These will begin in a Mailbox, be sent through a Distribution Center and then be transported to their proper destinations. Time limit: 9 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Vaudeville

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to develop and perform a vaudeville show that will have three or more original acts, an emcee and a commercial. One of the acts must relate to some aspect of society that the team decides is positive. Performances must also include an elaborate membership sign. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $80 USD.

Problem 4 :: A New Twist

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This nonlinguistic problem requires teams to design and build a structure of balsa wood and glue. The structure will undergo a series of twists during the competition and will be tested by balancing and supporting as much weight as possible. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $65 USD.

Problem 5 :: Time Traveler

Divisions I & II

The team’s problem is to create and perform a skit about traveling in time. The performance must include a time traveler and a team-created time machine that performs tasks. During the performance, there will be at least three scenes and two journeys though time. The team must also present a surprise ending. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Primary Problem :: Math Party

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Amusin’ Crusin’

Divisions I, II & III

This problem requires teams to design, build and drive a vehicle on two journeys that will take a driver(s) to see “attractions” that are part of a team-created theme. In addition to transporting the driver(s) past, through or as part of the attractions, the vehicle will perform required and team-created tasks. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 2 :: Odyssey Invention

Divisions II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to apply methods used by industrial designers to design a new product or redesign an existing one that will assist a person with a physical disability to perform, or help perform, a task. The team will present a skit that includes the product and demonstrates its use, while incorporating humor into the performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Great Impressions

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For this problem the team will select a drawing or painting by a French Impressionist artist and write a poem relating to it. The team will also select a poem by a famous author, create an original drawing or painting that relates to the poem, and present the poem and work of art. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $95 USD.

Problem 4 :: Crunch!

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to design and build a structure of balsa wood and glue. The structure will be tested by balancing and supporting as much weight as possible while undergoing a series of billiard ball impacts. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 5 :: The Tall Tales of John Jivery

Divisions I & II

In this problem, the team is to create and present a humorous performance about an original tall tale. The tale will include a team-created hero or heroine that performs an incredible feat, a unique explanation of how something began or came to be, and a surprise for the audience. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Primary Problem :: Better Safe Than Sorry!

Grades K-2

For this non-competitive problem teams will create and perform a skit that presents three safety tips chosen from a given list, a team-created safety tip, and a team-made sign for each safety tip, a slogan for the team-created tip, a team-created humorous character that chooses to ignore one or more of the tips, and an explanation of why people should follow the tips. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Ballonacy Cars

Divisions II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to design, build and run three small vehicles that will break moving and stationary balloons. Each Car will carry its own set of cards, which will limit the number of scoring runs it may make. One of these Cars will be the Carrier, which will be run to transport the other Cars, in addition to breaking balloons. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 2 :: OMERdroid

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present a humorous performance that includes a team-made OMERdroid (android) that has physical human features. The OMERdroid, designed built and operated by the team, must perform human actions during the performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Can You Dig It?

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For this problem the team will create and present a performance about archaeology that includes four team-made artifacts and a team member who portrays an archaeologist. The performance will include an act that takes place during an ancient time, where the purpose and/or use of the artifacts are based on his or her conclusions. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 4 :: Double Trouble

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design and build one structure that is made up of two individual balsa wood and glue structures. One of the structures will be a beam structure designed to bridge a gap; the other will be a load-bearing structure designed to rest on the beam structure and balance weights. The combined structure will be tested by supporting as much weight as possible. The team members will also create and present a theme for their solution, and will be judged on how well they work together during the presentation of their solution. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 5 :: Heroic Proportions

Divisions I & II

The team is to create and present a humorous performance that includes a character that has one or more out-of-proportion characteristics, or is extremely large or extremely small. This characteristic will enable the character to do something better or something it otherwise could not do. The character will use this ability at one time to help a member of its species and at another time to help a member of a different species. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Primary Problem :: The Good News

Grades K-2

The team’s problem is to create and present a television news broadcast that includes three stories. At some time during the performance, the team must show the good in something that is usually bad. The presentation must include at least one humorous news anchor and a simulation of a live news clip. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Pageant Wagon

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design and build a Tow Vehicle and a Pageant Wagon, and to present a festive performance that includes a Grand Finale. The Tow Vehicle will be powered and driven by a team member(s) and will tow or push the Pageant Wagon around a course. The Tow Vehicle and the Pageant Wagon will carry all of the team’s props. The Pageant Wagon will be used as part of the set for the performance. During the performance, the Tow Vehicle will travel the course and show off to attract interest in the Pageant Wagon. In addition, the Pageant Wagon will perform a task during the Grand Finale. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 2 :: Morph Magic

Divisions II, III & IV

The team is to create and present a humorous performance that includes a character who undergoes a morph from human to animal. In animal form, the character will find some plight of an animal that it will help or learn something to help it solve a human plight. The performance must also include a team-made device that will morph from its original appearance into something else. All of the team’s props must fit inside a limited space. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Marvelous Mentor

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team is to create and present a humorous performance about an advertising agency that has been commissioned to make a television commercial about a nutritional product. The agency has the good fortune to have an acclaimed individual as a mentor for the project. The performance will include the commercial, original music, a team-created package for the product, and a discussion of the product’s nutritional benefits. All of the team’s props must fit inside a limited space. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 4 :: Camouflaged Creation

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team will design and build a Camouflaged Structure made of balsa wood and glue. This may be stained and/or painted and will be camouflaged as part of a Larger Creation. During the performance the team will remove the Camouflaged Structure from the Larger Creation, then test it by having it support weights. The team must create and present a theme for its performance, and all of the team’s props must fit inside a limited space. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 5 :: Create & Animate

Divisions I & II

The team is to create and present a humorous performance where an inanimate object comes to life. The performance will include a team-created poem or song and original music. All of the team’s props must fit within a limited space. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Primary Problem :: Dream Vacation

Grades K-2

The team is to create and perform a skit about a Dream Vacation, which must include two sights and an experience at each sight. The performance will also include a Main Character and a team-created song. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $90 USD.

Problem 1 :: Splitsville

Divisions

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Herman Melville

Problem 2 :: Rat-tat Pat-too-ee

Divisions

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, “Anyone can cook.” But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more. Anton Ego – Ratatouille (Pixar Animation Studios Academy Award Winning animated film)

Problem 3 :: Omerville

Divisions

No man was ever great by imitation. Samuel Johnson

Problem 4 :: Since the Prince

Divisions

Men nearly always follow the tracks made by others and proceed in their affairs by imitation, even though they cannot entirely keep to the tracks of others or emulate the prowess of their models. So a prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If his own prowess fails to compare with theirs, at least it has an air of greatness about it. He should behave like those archers who, if they are skilful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target. Niccolo Machiavelli

Problem 5 :: Omeriginality

Divisions

Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of. John Stuart Mills

Primary Problem ::

Grades K-2

Problem 1 :: Elasti-Pumper

Divisions II, III & IV

Elasti-Pumper introduces a new and challenging power source for the Odyssey of the Mind vehicle problem. The team will design, build and drive a vehicle that is powered by elastic materials and an up-and-down pumping motion made by its driver. The vehicle will travel a course and return to its Start Area, where it will “pick up” a trailer. The vehicle will then make three “changing” journeys, one to each of three different areas, with trailer in tow. The team will change the appearance of the areas, using materials taken from the Elasti-Pumper and the trailer. The vehicle will then undergo a visual transformation of its own and embark on a final journey around the entire course. The team will incorporate its Elasti-Pumper and the visual changes into a thematic presentation that may encompass any subject, location, genre whatever! Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 2 :: Pest-aside

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Pesky animals are a constant annoyance to human life and getting them out of our way is a constant challenge to our human creativity. This problem incorporates technical and performance requirements as the teams will devise contraptions that perform events to ultimately catch or scare away a team-created pest. As can be expected, the pest strikes back. Teams will present their version of the pest’s revenge, which includes an unusual twist where the revenge is foiled and the humans prevail in the end. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… King Arthur

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For many generations, people from many cultures have been fascinated by the legends of King Arthur. Although the actual existence of King Arthur has been, and still is, questioned by many, his legends continue to thrive. In this problem teams will present one of the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as popularly described. Then they will use their imagination to present their idea of how that legend evolved had King Arthur never existed. Teams will include a legendary character and an original, team-made tapestry, a coat of arms and a flag. For an added challenge, the team members must be able to wear and support all materials they plan to use in their presentation. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Problem 4 :: Shrinking Structure

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This Odyssey of the Mind structure problem requires the team to design and build a structure of balsa wood that will hold as much weight as possible. However, here is the catch: After the structure has supported some weight it must “shrink” from a height of between 9″- 10″ to a height of 8-8.5″ inches. The team will then continue to place weights until the structure is broken. The team will present and test its structure in a performance that has a theme related to the “shrinking” structure. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $75 USD.

Problem 5 :: The Genie

Divisions I & II

Imagine if magical Genies really did exist. Then, imagine that one day you met one and it granted you three wishes. It is hard to imagine what might happen if those wishes backfired. Remember the saying, “Be careful of what you wish for, because you just might get it?” Sometimes, what you expect to be good turns out to be not at all good. Teams solving The Genie will present a humorous performance about a person who finds a Genie that grants three wishes. However, nothing is as easy as it sounds: the Genie places restrictions on the wishes, one wish backfires, and another unintentionally affects an animal. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Primary Problem :: Make Believe Zoo

Grades K-2

Zoos are fun to visit but they’re also places where we can learn a great deal about animals from faraway places. They serve as sanctuaries for endangered animals, too. Teams solving Make Believe Zoo will create five new animals and a habitat that allows them to thrive, then teach the audience about their animals. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Techno-Pets

Divisions II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to build two “pet” vehicles that operate differently from each other and perform tasks for score. The pets will perform a total of eight tasks, two of which will be determined by the team. The others include one pet chasing another, one raising and lowering its head, sounding a warning, retrieving something, entering a team-created home, and sleeping. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 2 :: Ody-SEE-ing Sounds

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For this problem, teams will present a humorous performance that includes ten different sound effects performed “live” for the audience. Six of the sound effects will be produced by two team-created devices; the others will be created in any manner the team wishes. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $110 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Wild. Winged. Wonders.

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team will identify three birds: one of a living species, one that is team-created, and one that is “classic,” that is, it is found in a documented work of art or literature. The team will discuss the merits of the birds, select one for special recognition, and present the rationale for choosing one bird over the others. The performance will include three original works of art depicting the birds and a commemorative memento designed by the team in honor of the occasion. One of the birds will fly, or appear to fly. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Achilles’ Heel

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will design and build a structure of balsa wood that will hold as much weight as possible while withstanding impacts from a free-wheeling vehicle designed and built by the team. After placing certain weight increments onto the structure, the team will roll its vehicle down a ramp so it crashes into part of the structure– its Achilles’ Heel! All the while, the team will continue to add as much weight to the structure as it can hold. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $85 USD.

Problem 5 :: Idiom Inspiration

Divisions I & II

Let the cat out of the bag does not mean to literally open a bag to release a cat. It’s an idiomatic phrase that means “to inadvertently reveal a secret.” In this problem, teams will present a humorous performance that includes four idioms. One idiom will be created by the team, along with a skit showing the team’s version of how it originated. The other idioms will be selected from a list. Two will be demonstrated “literally and figuratively” by the team, and another will be incorporated into an original poem. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Primary Problem :: Game Show

Grades K-2

Game shows have been broadcast on TV since way back when. In this non-competitive problem, teams will create a made-for-television game show that includes a host, contestants, and prizes. Something good will happen to one contestant – winning a million dollars maybe? Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $60 USD.

Problem 1 :: The Chameleon

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team will design, build and operate a vehicle that, like a chameleon, changes appearance. The performance will include three team-created environments, each with a different setting. One or more team members will operate the vehicle so it travels to each environment, where it will change appearance and blend in with its surroundings. The team member operating the vehicle, and any riders on the vehicle, will also blend visually into each environment. The team will also create a theme for its performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem 2 :: OMER’s Earthly Adventures

Divisions II, III & IV

In this technical problem, the team will present an original performance about environmental preservation. The performance will include OMER, the Odyssey of the Mind mascot, who will apply his creative problem-solving skills to fix malfunctions that prevent three tasks from being completed. Fixing the malfunctions will allow others to perform the tasks needed to help protect the environment. The team will select two tasks from given lists, and one task will be created by the team. Also, the team will create the illusion of OMER traveling. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 3 :: Classics… Center Stage

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present an original performance that is based on a work of classical literature selected from a given list. In a prologue, a Host will give a brief explanation of the essence of the story on which the presentation is based. The team will create a stage set and choreograph a dance that will be performed during the presentation. The performance will conclude with an epilogue that includes a character from a different work on the list. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: It’s a Snap!

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design and build components of a structure and to assemble them into a complete structure. The components will be made of balsa wood and glue and will interlock without the use of glue, string, or fasteners of any kind. The complete structure must stay together when lifted from any piece of wood. It will be tested by balancing and supporting as much weight as possible. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 5 :: The Ostrich Factor

Divisions I & II

The team is to create and present a humorous performance based on a character that possesses the Ostrich Factor. That is, when the character hides its head, it becomes invisible and remains invisible until its head reappears. However, there is another character that is not affected by the Ostrich Factor. This second character, like the judges and audience, always sees the character that possesses the Ostrich Factor. The Ostrich Factor character will hide its head at least five times during the performance. One of the times it will reappear to find that it missed a fun event and another time it will reappear in a different time and/or place. In addition, the team will create the way the character hides its head and will have a surprise for the audience during the performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Primary Problem :: Me and My Shadow

Grades K-2

The team will create and present a humorous performance about the life of a shadow. The shadow will be bound to its person when that person is in light, but when its person is in the dark, the shadow is free to leave and interact with other shadows in a fantasy Shadowland. At least three times during the performance the person will go from the dark to the light, at which time the shadow will return to the person’s side. The team will create a signaling system to let the judges and audience know when the person is in the light. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: A Scene From Above

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build and run three small vehicles to transport items from an Orbit Area to an Assembly Station. The items will be added to a three-dimensional representation of a scene of the Earth as viewed from space. As the items are added the scene will change. The scene may be real or imaginary and may be zoomed in to any degree. The team will present a humorous performance about the scene and its changes. The vehicles will be powered in different ways. In addition, one vehicle will carry its energy source while the other two vehicles will travel on the momentum caused by different energy sources. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 2 :: The Know-It-All

Divisions II, III & IV

This technical performance problem requires teams to design and build a character that possesses “artificial intelligence” (A.I). The A.I. character is believed to be all-knowing, and people come from near and far seeking its wisdom. However, the advice A.I. gives is unrelated to the questions asked. People read into A.I.’s advice and interpret it into brilliant pieces of wisdom. During the performance the A.I. character will speak, move and perform two team-created actions. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Put a Spin On It

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to create and present an original performance about the creation of a work of great human achievement, chosen from a given list. The performance will include a scene showing an original reason for the creation of the work. During the performance the team will hold a “spin session” to devise a more acceptable reason for the creation of the work. Ultimately, the spin session generates the reason that is accepted today as fact. The performance will also include a team-made representation of the chosen work. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Odd Pod Structure

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to design and build a structure of balsa wood and glue that will rest on an odd number of team-made pods while holding as much weight as possible. The team must have a minimum of three pods and will be awarded points for the number of pods used. The pods can be made of any material but must measure no more than 2″ x 2″ x 3/4″. The team may place the pods anywhere outside of an 8-inch circle on the tester. Once the structure is placed on the pods, it will be tested by balancing and supporting weights. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 5 :: Fooled Ya!

Divisions I, II & III

The team is to create and present a performance that includes two characters who perform at least five “illusions” that entertain other characters in the performance. One of the illusions will turn out to be not an illusion at all — it will actually happen! The team will also include a special effect in its performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $100 USD.

Primary Problem :: Music Lessons

Grades K-2

In this musical problem, teams will create and perform a song with lyrics that help to teach something. The team will make and play two musical instruments to accompany the song. The team will show how learning the song helps a character in the performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Envirover

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to build and drive a human-powered Envirover vehicle that will collect trash and deliver it to a Factory, where it will be used to manufacture a product of the team’s design. The team will present an original prototype of the product then use the trash to produce five samples of the product. The team will also create and present a humorous sales pitch for its product that takes place in a store setting. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem 2 :: Strategy Sphere

Divisions II, III & IV

This technical problem requires teams to design and build two devices that will mechanically propel balls through a circular hoop. The location of the devices will determine the value of the points scored when the ball passes through the hoop. Teams will also create a device to retrieve the balls after they are launched. All aspects of the problem solution will be integrated into a theme about how a change in the Earth’s geosphere affects the Earth’s atmosphere. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 3 :: Classics… Fantastic Art

Divisions I, II, III & IV

In this problem, teams will create and present a performance that includes works of art that come alive when no one can see them and return to their original state when others are around. The team will make four works of art: two will be replicas of works by artists from a list, and two will be original works created by the team. The performance will include at least one scene where the works of art come to life and interact with each other. The performance will also include a character that is not part of the works of art. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Balancing Act

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem calls for the team to design, build and test a structure made of balsa wood and glue. The structure will be wider at its top than at its base. The structure will be tested by balancing and supporting as much weight as possible. The team will also create a container that will transport the structure a maximum distance of 20 feet. The container and structure may not be touched while they are traveling. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $135 USD.

Problem 5 :: Featured Creature

Divisions I, II & III

The problem is to create and present an original performance about mythological creatures. The team will choose a mythological creature from a list and make the audience aware of its characteristics. The team will also create its own “mythological” creature and present a legend that includes that creature and its unique physical characteristics and special power. The performance will include a stage set that changes. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Primary Problem :: Rewind With Humor

Grades K-2

The team will create a performance that tells a story in reverse — from the end to the beginning. The story will have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but the team will present it backwards. Therefore, the performance will start out with the ending of the story, then show the middle, and end with the beginning. The team will tell at least three jokes during its performance. Time limit: 8 min. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Stunt Mobiles

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is for teams to design, build and run two original Stunt Mobile vehicles that will travel from behind Start Lines and over five obstacle courses. The Stunt Mobiles will operate on different power systems, and they will overcome different obstacles to cross a finish line and break balloons. Cost limit: $140 USD.

Problem 2 :: In Your Dreams

Divisions I, II & III

For this problem, teams will create a performance that includes a dream that, at times, will be cheerful, non-sensical, and nightmarish. The nightmare will include a monster, designed and built by the team, that changes in appearance and performs various tasks, including two designed by the team. Parts of the dream will include sounds as well. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 3 :: Get The Message?

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will present an original performance that includes a story told three times, each time using a different method of communication: a primitive method, an evolved method, and a futuristic method created by the team. The team will create signals that represent a stage in a process of the Earth system that they will display for each communication method. The presentation will also include a narrator or host and a stage set. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 4 :: Crazy Columns

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will use only balsa wood and glue to create a structure that will be tested for its ability to balance and support as much weight as possible, but here’s the twist: The parts of the structure do not have to be connected, although they can be if the team wishes. The “structure” will rest on surfaces at three different heights, but the top of the structure will be at least 8″ from the tester base. The two outer surfaces will be 10″ apart. Placement of the third surface will be determined by the team, but within a specified area. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 5 :: Laugh-a-thon

Divisions I, II, III & IV

In this problem, teams will create and present a humorous performance that has team members portraying a puppet, a mime, and an image and its reflection. The performance will also include a comedy routine or humorous sketch and the effect of something happening much faster than usual. Teams will add two humorous features of their own that are meant to entertain others. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Primary Problem :: Fable-us!

Grades K-2

For this non-competitive problem, teams will create and present a performance that includes an original fable that has a moral. There will be no “humans” in the performance, only animals and inanimate objects with human characteristics. The moral will teach a lesson or provide advice to help one or more characters in the performance. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: The Great Parade

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will design, build and drive a vehicle that will be used as three different floats in a parade. The vehicle will leave a Back Lot decorated as the first float, travel around a parade route and return to the Back Lot. There, it will change appearance into another float and travel the route again. It will repeat this one more time. One of the floats will have a technical feature. The parade will conclude with a Spectacular Celebration, which will also include a technical feature. The team will create a theme for its parade and include a featured character in its presentation. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 2 :: Tech Transfer

Divisions I, II & III

This problem requires teams to create and present an original performance that includes the use of a technical device that extends into different areas to move items. The team will design, build and operate the device, and create the items. The team will integrate the moving of the items into its performance. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Ancient Egypt

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For this problem, teams will create and present an original performance that includes a scene that takes place in ancient Egypt. The presentation must include either a pharaoh, king, or queen, and ancient Egyptian works of art/artifacts created by the team. The performance will also include an explanation abut the construction of an ancient Egyptian architectural structure and a plot twist. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Geometry Structure

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design and build a structure of balsa wood and glue. The team will build geometric shapes into the structure’s design and attach colored paper to the shapes. The type and number of required shapes varies according to division. The team will test the structure for its ability to balance and support as much weight as possible. The team’s stage set will include some type of replica of the structure. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 5 :: The Jungle Bloke

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will create and present a performance about a “bloke,” a person who has the ability to talk with and understand animals from a jungle. Part or all of the performance will take place in a jungle selected from a list. The animals will tell the Bloke about a problem that exists there and get the Bloke to help. The animals will also help the Bloke in some way. The Bloke will convince someone else that he has the ability to talk with the animals. The presentation will include an original song and dance. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Primary Problem :: Space Trek

Grades K-2

For this non-competitive problem, the team will create and present an original performance about traveling through outer space. On its trip, the team will overcome an obstacle or difficulty, encounter another space traveler, and discover an unknown planet. The team will name the planet and retrieve two samples using a team-created device. Cost limit: $50 USD.

Problem 1 :: Tag ‘em

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build, and run one, two, or three small vehicles that will make trips and get “tagged” within a Tagging Zone for score. The team will create tags and a system to remotely place them onto the vehicle. To receive maximum score for a trip, a vehicle will have one tag successfully placed on it and will continue traveling into a Home Area. The team will present a performance that incorporates the running and tagging of the vehicle. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 2 :: The Large And Small Of It

Divisions I, II & III

This problem requires teams to create and present an original performance that integrates team-created Small Pages and Large Versions that change appearance. The method used to make the Large Versions change appearance will simulate the methods used to change the Small Pages. One of these methods must be technical. The Large Versions will serve as stage sets for the performance. During the performance a character will also appear to dramatically change in size. This effect will be created using technical means. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… Around The World In 8 Minutes

Divisions I, II, III & IV

In this “classics” problem, teams will create and present a performance that includes a “Traveler” character on a trip around the world. During the trip, the Traveler will stop at three locations on Planet Earth that have different geographic characteristics. Two settings — one polar, the other different — will be actual places, and the third one will be an undiscovered location created by the team. The performance will include an explanation about why the character takes the trip and the reason it stops at each location. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 4 :: Out Of The Box Balsa

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design, build, and test a structure made of balsa wood and glue that will balance and support weights. The team is allowed to use materials other than balsa wood and glue to assemble the parts of the structure. The structure will be designed to fit completely inside a box that is smaller than the assembled structure. When competition time begins, the team will remove the parts and assembly materials from the box, creatively assemble its structure, and test it by placing weights onto it. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 5 :: I’m Only Thinking Of You!

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For this problem, teams will create and present an original humorous performance that includes a Self-Centered Character (SCC) and a surprise. The SCC will take advantage of others three separate times. Two of the three times it will successfully convince others that it is being helpful and will say, “I’m only thinking of you,” or something similar. The third time it will fail to deceive others into believing that its self-centered behavior helps them and its true nature is revealed. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Primary Problem :: The Time Capsule

Grades K-2

The team will create and present a performance about a group of explorers that uncover a time capsule filled with five unusual items made by the team. The explorers will try to figure out what these odd items are and how they were used. They won’t always agree with each other! The exploration may take place anywhere in any time period. Cost limit: $115 USD.

Problem 1 :: Odyssey Road Rally

Divisions I, II & III

This problem combines two popular activities — Road Rallies and Sporting Events. Teams will design, build, and operate an original vehicle, which they will drive in a road rally that has four checkpoints. At each checkpoint, the vehicle will compete in a sports-related event. The team will choose three of the events from lists in the problem and will create an original sports-related event for the fourth checkpoint. The team will also develop a theme for its road rally. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 2 :: DinoStories

Divisions I, II, III & IV

What might have happened to the dinosaurs that existed so many years ago? In a humorous performance, teams will present their original theory of what caused the dinosaurs to become extinct. The performance will include a dinosaur, a replica of the same dinosaur, an animal that is not a dinosaur, and a technical simulation of the team’s “extinction theory.” At least part of the performance will take place in a setting from the Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous periods. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 3 :: Classics… The Wonderful Muses

Divisions I, II, III & IV

In Greek Mythology, muses were the source of inspiration for the creative works of artists and scientists. The team’s problem is to create and present an original performance that includes one of the nine Greek muses. The Muse will inspire two people during the performance:

  1. a historical person who made an actual positive contribution to the world, and
  2. an original, team-created person who tries to make a positive contribution to the world.

The Muse will use the art form attributed to her during two “moments of inspiration,” when all the characters in the scene, except the Muse, will “freeze.” The team will also create two original works in that art form to include in the performance. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Tee Structure

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team’s problem is to design and build a structure using only balsa wood and glue. The team will test the structure by having it support weights that are balanced on golf balls without touching anything else. The team will receive score for the amount of weight the structure holds during testing and bonus points for each golf ball used to support the weights. Cost limit: $140 USD

Problem 5 :: The Eccentrics!

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to create and present a humorous performance about three Eccentric Characters that demonstrate odd behavior, peculiar mannerisms, and unconventional dress. The performance will include a team-created “problem” within or involving an Earth system — the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, or hydrosphere. The Eccentric Characters, which seem to be misfits, will solve the problem. As a reward, a celebration is held in their honor and they end up launching a new fad. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Primary Problem :: Rude Awakenings

Grades K-2

This problem requires teams to create and present a humorous performance that includes a character that keeps waking up in a different time and/or place from where it fell asleep. This will happen at least three times before the character returns to where it started and something or someone stops the character from “traveling” in its sleep. The performance will also include a pet, a helpful character, and narration. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 1 :: Earth Trek

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to design and build a small vehicle that will visit four locations. The locations will be different places within one or more team-determined environments. Each time the vehicle leaves a location it will look different in appearance, and after leaving one of the locations it will appear to be a group of vehicles that are traveling together. The team’s performance will incorporate the visits to the locations, the environments, and the changes in appearance of the vehicle. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 2 :: Teach Yer Creature

Divisions I, II & III

Teams will create a humorous performance about a mechanical creature that acts like a real mammal or bird and learns lessons. The creature will act like the real animal by performing tasks the way it would, including traveling, eating, and turning its head. It will be taught two lessons by a Creature Teacher and will “accidentally” learn a behavior by observing others. During the performance the creature will surprise the audience by demonstrating the “accidental” behavior it learned. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 3 :: The Lost Labor of Heracles

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will create and present an original performance about the ancient Greek hero Heracles. In Greek Mythology, King Eurytheus ordered Heracles to perform 12 labors. The team will reenact Heracles performing one of the 12 labors, as well as a Lost Labor–a team-created thirteenth labor forgotten in history. The performance will also include a god or goddess from Greek Mythology, an original mythological creature that plays a role in the Lost Labor, and the team’s version of why the Lost Labor was forgotten in history. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Shock Waves

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is to design and build a structure out of balsa wood and glue that will balance and support as much weight as possible while absorbing shockwaves. The team will test its structure by placing weights onto it. During specific intervals the team will place one or two spacers on the top weight and will then place a weight on them. The team will remove the spacers so the top weight falls onto the stack causing a shockwave. The team will add weight until its structure breaks or time ends. The team will also create and use an original method to place its structure onto the tester and will incorporate the testing of the structure into a performance. Cost limit: $140 USD.

Problem 5 :: Superstition

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is to create and present a performance that includes two documented superstitions, an original superstition created by the team, and the events that caused the original superstition to come to be. The performance will also include a funny narrator, a costume that is worn by two or more team members at the same time, and a stage set. During the performance the same stage set items will be used to change from one setting to another. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Primary Problem :: Candy Factory

Grades K-2

In this problem teams will create and present a performance about a Candy Maker and her/his factory. The twist is that the primary ingredient for each type of candy has to be something that is healthy. The team will create a setting that looks like the inside of its candy factory and have five samples of candies. During the performance the Candy Maker will present the candies to customers and explain how each is made.. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 1 :: Nature Trail’R

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to design, build and drive a human-powered vehicle and camper that will go on a camping trip. When the vehicle arrives at the Campground, the camper will be disconnected and the vehicle will travel on a team-created Nature Trail. On the Nature Trail, the vehicle will overcome an obstacle, clean up the environment, encounter wildlife, and undergo a repair. The performance will include a character that is in or near the camper that explains the experience as part of its role. Sponsored by NASA. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 2 :: Return to The Gift of Flight

Divisions I, II & III

Teams will make and operate a series of aircraft that will complete a variety of flight plans. The flight plans include flying straight, making a target spin, traveling slowly, dropping something into a target, touching down and taking off, and a mass launch of multiple aircraft. The aircraft in the solution will be made of a variety of materials and will have a variety of power sources. The testing of the aircraft will be presented in a team-created performance that will include a character that serves as a creative “air traffic controller.” Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 3 :: Discovered Treasures

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will create and present an original performance that includes the portrayal of the discovery of two archaeological treasures. One portrayal will be a team-created version of the discovery of an actual historical treasure. The other portrayal will be the team’s depiction of a modern sculpture or structure that exists today but is discovered in the future. The performance will include an artistic representation of the two discovered treasures and characters that are part of the discovery teams. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Column Structure

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is to design and build balsa wood columns that will function together to balance and support as much weight as possible. The columns must not be connected to each other in any way. The team will test its Column Structure by placing weights onto it. The team will add weight until its Column Structure breaks or time ends. Bonus score will be awarded for the number of columns used. The team will incorporate the testing of its columns in an original team-created performance. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 5 :: Food Court

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is to create and present a humorous performance where a food item is accused of being unhealthy and must defend itself among its food peers. All characters are food items and will include “the accused,” “the accuser,” a jury that is not portrayed by team members, and additional team-created characters. The jury will reveal its decision to the audience. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Primary Problem :: Surprise Party

Grades K-2

The team is to create and present a humorous performance that includes a Surprise Party for a team-created character. The theme of the party is a surprise because it is being given for something that is not normally celebrated. Partygoers will give three gifts that help symbolize the theme of the party. The performance will also include an original party “noisemaker” that makes an unusual sound instead of a loud sound. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 1 :: Extreme Mousemobiles

Divisions I, II, III & IV

This problem requires teams to design, build, and run vehicles that use mousetraps as their only source of energy. The Mouse Mobiles will travel a course that has segments with different challenges. The team can choose from assorted tasks such as driving through a tunnel, raising a flag, hitting a target, changing direction, making a delivery, and will also perform two team-created challenges. The running of the Mouse Mobiles will be presented in a performance with a team-created theme. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 2 :: As Good as Gold…berg

Divisions I, II & III

Teams will present an uncomplicated existing item that is used in a simple and effective way to complete a real life task. The teams will also create their own solution, a device made out of an unnecessarily complex series of components that will perform the same task as the existing item. The performance will include an inventor character and a marketing plan/sales pitch for its creation. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 3 :: Le Tour Guide

Divisions I, II, III & IV

Teams will create and present an original performance where a classical character acts as a Tour Guide. The tour will make three stops including one that will be a team-created location. During the tour an inanimate object will show signs of life, the Tour Guide will give the wrong explanation about something, and will give a creative explanation about why it is important to guard and secure a worthless item. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: Unhinged Structure

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is to design and build a solution using only balsa wood and glue that folds into the team’s structure without coming apart. The team may use material other than balsa wood and glue to serve as a hinge. The team will test its “folded” structure by placing as much weight as possible on it during a performance that also includes three different objects that change appearance by being folded or unfolded. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 5 :: Full Circle

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The problem is to create and present a humorous performance where something changes form or appearance at least three times and eventually undergoes a final change where it returns to its original form and appearance. The team will signal the audience each time there is a change. The performance will include a very silly character, a very serious character, a song and dance, and a surprise ending. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Primary Problem :: Money Maker

Grades K-2

The team is to create and present a humorous performance about a Money Maker character that tries to make money from wild ideas. The Money Maker will fail three times but will finally succeed. There will be another character that thinks all of the ideas are great and encourages the Money Maker to keep trying out his wild ideas. The performance will also include a commercial, a customer, and a real life example of an actual successful “wild” idea. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 1 :: Ooh-Motional Vehicle

Divisions I, II & III

The problem requires teams to design, build, and drive a vehicle that will travel a course where it will encounter three different situations. The vehicle will display a different human emotion for each encounter and one will cause it to travel in reverse. The team will create a theme for the presentation that incorporates the vehicle and the different emotions. The emphases will be on the technical risk-taking and creativity of the vehicle’s engineering for travel and change of emotional appearance. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 2 :: Weird Science

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team will create and present a performance about a team of scientists on an expedition to uncover the cause of mysterious events. The team will select the location of the expedition from NASA Earth Observatory Photographs . The scientists will collect two samples and will report on their findings. The performance will also include a technical representation of the mysterious events, the appearance of actually traveling, and a team-created device that the scientists use on the expedition. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem Sponsored by…
NASA Earth Observatory

Problem 3 :: To Be or Not To Be

Divisions I, II, III & IV

In this Classics problem, teams will put a musical theatre spin on one of William Shakespeare’s most famous lines: “To Be Or Not To Be.” Hamlet, the title character, ponders this question and realizes that the easy way out is not always the correct choice. An original “Hamlet” character will face a team-created dilemma. Unlike Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the team’s character will take the easy way out only to discover that it was the wrong choice. Teams will also incorporate a character that portrays Hamlet’s conscience, a creative scene change, a creative costume change, and use of a “trap door.” A portion of the performance will include musical theatre elements. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Problem 4 :: You Make the Call

Divisions I, II, III & IV

For this problem, teams will design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that will balance and support as much weight as possible. The structure may have a maximum weight of 9 grams and will receive 2 times the weight held, or 12 grams and receive 1 ½ times the weight held, or 15 grams and receive the actual weight held. The testing of the structure will be presented in a performance that includes mathematics in its theme. Cost limit: $145 USD.

Problem 5 :: Odyssey Angels

Divisions I, II, III & IV

The team will create and present a performance where a group of students travel throughout one or more team-created places where they encounter negative situations. These “Odyssey Angels” change what they find and turn them into positive situations. On their journey, they help two individuals with different problems and help save an entire community from a bad situation. One Odyssey Angel cannot speak, and another has a special team-created power. Cost limit: $125 USD.

Primary Problem :: Hide and Peek

Grades K-2

The team is to create a device that uncovers three surprise objects by lifting a team-decorated container off of each of them from 5, 8 and 10 feet away. The containers may be raised at any time, in any order, and may be raised simultaneously. The demonstration of the solution will be presented during a performance that integrates raising the containers and the surprise objects in its theme. There will be a narrator character and a setting. Cost limit: $125 USD.


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