Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

See the creative experience of Odyssey

Join a Key School Odyssey of the Mind Team

Key has a long and successful legacy with Odyssey of the Mind. Teams from Key have won at the Regional competition and selected to compete at the State and World levels.

Interested? Sign Up Now

Why do it?

  • To develop higher level thinking skills through creative negotiating and problem solving skills in a team environment.
  • To make new friends and learn unique approaches to things through drama, art, music, construction, etc.

When does it start?

  • K-2nd graders generally start after January 1st.
  • 3rd-5th graders generally start in November.

How does it work?

  • Teams of 5-7 children each are generally formed based on grade by the coordinator and/or the coaches.
  • Meeting days are generally once a week immediately after school until around 5 p.m. This schedule is flexible within each team and based on coach and team members’ availability.
  • All teams create a short skit, complete with costumes, dialogue, props, and other individual problem-specific parameters (such as the inclusion of a vehicles, balsa structures, songs, literary and artistic references, etc.).
  • The skit is performed at a judged event on March 14, 2020, with teams from other Northern Virginia schools.
  • Participation by students is a privilege provided by volunteers. Students will be required to sign and abide by a behavior contract in order to participate fully.
  • The Internet has examples of past Odyssey of the Mind performances. (For example, try searching YouTube for "Odyssey of the Mind.")

Additional information:

    • https://novaeastodysseyofthemind.wordpress.com/
    • https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

Who are the Odyssey Coaches?

  • You could be an Odyssey coach! All teams are coached by a parent volunteer. No experience is necessary. Formal training is provided as well as you will have access to other Key School Odyssey coaches, past and present.
  • All parents will have a role — you can coach or assist your child’s team (there is a coaches' training on November 16, 2019 and a coaches' meeting on January 13, 2020), provide weekly snack, plan the dress rehearsal, coordinate spontaneous practices, be trained as a regional judge (training date February 29, 2020), and/or volunteer at the NoVA East meet (Saturday, March 14, 2020).
  • Success depends on students’ involvement, commitment, efforts, and creativity!
  • PARENT COACHES ARE NECESSARY -- teams cannot be formed without them.

How Much Does it Cost?

  • The cost is generally around $25 and is dependent on each team. This money is used to pay for the registration for the Key team’s membership, t-shirts, coaches’ training, judges’ training and participation at the regional competition.
  • Coaches may request additional support for snacks or materials needed for the team.
  • If your team is awarded a spot at the state or world competition, each team would be required to cover their travel costs. The PTA can assist with fundraising for those teams if needed.

Sign-Up Now.

Once you complete the registration, and after we have coaches, we will work to form teams based on grade and your student’s availability. However, teams may change in order to accommodate availability.

Register Here

Questions? Please contact Key parent Michael Weinstein, the Key School Odyssey of the Mind Coordinator, at keyodyssey@gmail.com.