2021 Long Term Problem Synopses

All problems have an 8-minute time limit.

The 2021 Long-Term problem synopses are now available at OdysseyoftheMind.com. Have a look at this year’s exciting long-term problems!

Problem 1: OMer the ROMER
Divisions I, II, III & IV
OMers are always looking for new fun — and funny — experiences! Teams will design and build a ride-on vehicle that takes an OMer character on an adventure in search of humor. The vehicle will use stored energy as it is propelled forward and in reverse. At each stop, the vehicle and the OMer will react to something humorous before traveling to the next destination. The humorous performance will also include an unplanned stop where the OMer character takes a selfie, a creative physical representation of the selfie, and a vehicle-produced special effect.

Problem 2: Virtual Odyssey
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Creativity is boundless as teams create a performance that includes a Virtual Reality World. As part of the world, they will design and build various technical effects, which include changing something that is two-dimensional into three-dimensional. During the performance, a character will unknowingly enter the Virtual Reality World where it will encounter a nefarious creature. It will learn the rules of collecting credits in the virtual world as the odyssey progresses. Finally, the character will escape the “clutches” of the creature and earn the last credit that allows it to journey back into the real world. The team will also create a special effect indicating to the judges and audience when the performance goes into virtual reality.

Problem 3: Classics… OMER and the Beanstalk
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Sponsored by ARM & HAMMER™
Storybooks come alive when a special bean grows into a magic “beanstalk” that takes a youngster into a storybook land. There, a creative host will guide them around as they meet different storybook characters and encounter objects from selected stories that exist together in this mystical land. Teams will use ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to create works of art relating to the stories. A set piece or prop that grows or appears to grow and an original Life Lesson learned by the youngster in storybook land will be part of the performance.

Problem 4: It’s a Trap!
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Oh no, it’s a trap! Or is it? In this problem, teams will design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue, if desired, that holds as much weight as possible after it is used to trap a moving object. However, an oblivious character will unwittingly avoid traps it does not recognize in a humorous performance. The performance will also include a narrator character that alerts the audience to the action and the traps.

Note: Wrecking Ball Structure II will return in the future when competitions are not in a virtual platform.

Problem 5: Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Get ready for a story that begins with a cliffhanger “ending.” A Superhero is in peril and needs help to escape. Just as all hope seems lost, the Superhero puts on a pair of Super Socks that give the hero a special power. The Superhero uses the power to escape and fend off an adversary who caused the cliffhanger situation. Teams will also create an extreme weather setting, a humorous character, and a sound effect that occurs whenever the character activates the Super Socks.

Primary: Animals Are People Too!
Grades K-2
People see the world in different ways. Imagine looking at one thing and seeing something else. In this problem, teams will create and present a humorous performance about a magical pair of glasses that when looked through, make people look like animals. Teams will design a costume that transforms a character’s appearance from human to an animal, and another costume that transforms an animal to a different animal. A character will attempt to duplicate the glasses, but the copycat version doesn’t work the same way. What is seen through the copycat glasses will be represented by an artistic representation.

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