Odyssey of the Mind World Finals kick off in East Lansing

Thousands of students from around the world have gathered in East Lansing for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:26 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Thousands of students from around the world have gathered in East Lansing for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

The opening ceremony was held Wednesday at the Breslin Center. You can see the full schedule of events for the weekend here.

Odyssey of the Mind competitions are very unique. You go to school for an education, but students participate in these competitions, for something deeper.

“My grandfather, he really didn’t like the generic style of in-classroom learning,” said William Micklus, Grandson of the founder, Samuel Micklus.

Samuel Micklus founded Odyssey of the Mind in the late 70′s, after feeling like the college courses he taught weren’t unlocking students’ full potential.

“He wanted to do more with that, so more hands-on learning. So he’d take his class out to make big projects, he would take them out to the football field to make a device that could kick a field goal, or make something that could cross a lake but it’s not a boat. and that really jump-started the program,” said William Micklus.

Now, more than 40 years later, it’s evolved into regional, state wide and global problem-solving competitions. Students have to qualify to move up to the next level of competition, making world finals a prestigious event.

“With Odyssey of the Mind, it’s like more creative, and with school, you’re just sitting behind a desk doing nothing,” said Kayla Patel, a California Competitor.

The competition is so highly anticipated, with more than 6,000 guests in attendance coming all the way from China, to Mexico, to New York.

“You can like bring out your creativity, and then you can bond with friends really easily,” said Quinn Madhosingh, a Florida Competitor.

There was no shortage of excitement at the opening ceremony, with months of preparation done by each team.

“I’ve learned that teamwork is the most important thing, and without teamwork, you can’t get anywhere,” said Samia Patel, a California Competitor.

Ready to solve problems and present their hard work, all with their friends by their side.

The competition will run throughout the weekend, so you can expect some crowds in East Lansing.

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