Tips for Success
  • Understand the Contest: Read the contest overview and components carefully. Do you understand the spirit of the contest? Make an initial research on different topics before deciding the topic of your project. Try to find what subjects are currently popular and within the grasp of your knowledge.
  • Focus your effort to respond to the specific evaluation criteria: The Scientific Committee consists of professional scientists, researchers and educators. They evaluate each entry against the specified evaluation criteria for that competition. Content, including science accuracy, will guide their decisions. Try to be specific and do not write something you have not previously verified its accuracy and most importantly do not write something you do not understand. Try do be consistent and do not stretch your project too much. Focused projects are most likely to be successful as they are more thorough and explicit. Try to organize your project so it will have a rational sequence and structure. Also, try to create an attractive layout. Ultimately it may become a tie-breaking factor between two excellent entries, but it won’t create a winner. Entries don’t win by default; excellence must be demonstrated to be a winner.
  • Work on the basics:  The physical appearance of an entry is often an indicator of serious effort by the student(s). Neat, well edited, readable entries, without spelling errors, make any entry a better competitor. If your entry is an essay it should be proofread by someone other than the creators. Every entry created on a computer should be spell-checked. Allow time for reviewing and revising prior to submission. Ignore this step and it shows. You don’t need an expert to review your entry. Anyone willing to read can point out misspellings, gaps in logic, confusing sentences, missing information, speakers who are not understandable, etc.
  •  Plan ahead:  Make a blueprint of your project, outlining your main course of action. Make a clear plan as to what each member of the team is going to be responsible for.  Manage your time so that your work schedule allow time for reviewing and revising your entry. That step can be the difference between participating and being disqualified.  It takes a lot of time to design, build, test, review, test, fix, test.  Starting too late on the project probably causes more failures at the contest than anything else.
  • Find a coach.  A good coach can be a great resource in evaluating your entry’s design before you begin developing your project, reviewing your experiments, papers, videos, prototypes etc, and being your go-to person for questions and advice. Your coach can be your science teacher, or a teacher from another school or a local university with experience in your topic or research methods. Remember, however, that the actual work of the project, including the project design and analysis of the data, must be your own work. In case you are not fluent in English and you would like to submit or translate your entry in English and / or you would need help with using books and other resources in English you should also ask a teacher in English to assist your team. Depending on the nature of your project you could involve apart from science teachers, technology, arts and other teachers, who you might think they could help you develop a successful project.
  • Get a team together.  Odysseus contest is intended for teams of 2 to 5 students to work on.  Don’t try doing it all by yourself. Find other members form a good team and divide responsibilities among all teammates.
  • Pick a topic that’s meaningful to you. Make sure your topic is space related and could lead to an outcome. Ask yourself, does it address something about the solar system, co-evolution of life, or space exploration?  Make sure your project falls into one of the above fields.
  • Brainstorm potential subjects of interest with your teammates, teachers or family members and name some subjects in order to identify topics that interest your team.
  • Use the project worksheet template provided by the organizers to support and document your project.
  • Develop a research question that will help you define what your entry will answer. Ask yourself, about the relationship between the focus of your project and the outcome you are interested in. Think of it as your entry’s objective or hypothesis stated as a question.
  • Draw diagrams or flow charts to organise the information you would collect on space and particularly on your topic and to help you work out how to translate that information into something meaningful.
  • Read and study the demo projects in the Odysseus website and the Frequently Asked Questions
  • Ask any clarifying questions to the organizers by sending emails to info@odysseus-contest.eu
  • Organize tools, materials and supplies for contest.
  • Find helpful websites on space and sources of relevant material for your project. Use search words to cruise the Internet for relevant information but stick with reputable and trustworthy sources (e.g. ESA or NASA websites and sites with an .edu suffix).
  • Spend a lot of time gathering background information on your topic.
  • Make sure that any fact you use in your argument is verifiable by trustworthy sources before considering them to be valid.
  • Go in-depth with your research. Try learning scientific concepts and be as detailed as possible. The more you know, the more the judges will be impressed.
  • Do not get discouraged if you run into a lot of problems, while creating your project. Running into problems is not an excuse to quit your project.

Good Luck!!