Become a Member
To begin, become a member by purchasing a membership for your school or community group.
Once your order is processed, you will have access to the current year’s full problem details, program materials, and connects you with your local OM™ association. You will receive a membership number which allows you to log in to the Member’s Area to download membership materials, register for tournaments, and more.
With one membership you can form a team for each problem in each division (age group) housed within a school. Our division finder tool will let you know which age groups your school qualifies for. If two teams of the same age want to compete in the same problem, additional memberships are available at a discounted rate—this will then double the amount of teams you can have. While competitions are like no other, some use the problems as curriculum or as an activity without competing. If that’s the case, there is no limit!
Once you are a member, log-in to the Member Area to download the problem materials. You will be given login information once your order is processed.
Teams are formed of up to seven students and a coach, organized under a school, home school, or community group. After becoming a member, recruit students and decide which of our Long-Term Problems they’d like to solve. Each problem solution requires an 8-minute performance, with specific requirements and limitations unique to each problem type.
From writing scripts and acting, to building structures and designing vehicles – there is a problem that appeals to all types of interests. Even better—teams become stronger when there is a mix of different talents and abilities. Often shy students find they enjoy performing and those that prefer working with their hands learn new skills as the team builder or designer. In OM learning is fun and competition brings out students’ best. These different students often become life-long friends that would never have met without OM as the connection.
Give your team the best chance at success by reviewing the problem limitations and the rules of the program. While the problems are open-ended, there are limitations that encourage creative problem-solving. It’s not about coming up with the one “right” solution; it’s finding one of many possible creative solutions that meet specific requirements. OM doesn’t teach kids what to think, it teaches how to think.
The basics of how the program works are explained in the Program Guide. Topics like how to coach, what happens at competition, scoring, and more are listed there. It may not be as fun as building and creating, but reading and following guidelines are important life skills as well!
Create Your Solution
Once your team knows the problem limitations, it’s time to create a solution! This can be done any way the team wishes, but usually takes place over a few months during team practices. Spend time brainstorming ideas, dividing up tasks, and coming to a consensus on solutions. This is all part of learning to work together, appreciating different ideas, and exploring creativity without limit. Ideas become reality as the team builds sets, creates props, writes scripts, and more. Then it’s all about practice, practice, practice!
Odyssey Academy is a free series of videos designed to introduce students, parents, teachers, and coaches to Odyssey of the Mind (OM) and to guide them through the OM experience.
There’s nothing like an Odyssey competition! Colorful costumes, innovative design, humorous scripts and more all combine in a fierce but friendly competition. Teams show off their creative ideas and appreciate others.
There are three levels of competition – regional, state/association, and World Finals. Your first competition will occur locally, then teams may advance all the way to the world stage. Here thousands of people from around the world come together to put their ideas to the test.
Tips for going to competition:
Connect with your local association to find information on trainings, tournaments, and more.
You can also find various forms needed for competition in the Program Guide or Member’s Resources. This is also explained in each Long-Term Problem.