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Odyssey of the Mind™ promotes creativity, problem solving, teamwork, and more. It is a creative problem-solving competition that gives kids the confidence to think for themselves and to create solutions to any challenge. Independent study, original ideas, and critical thinking skills are rewarded over getting the “one right answer” thanks to our unique open-ended problems that are backed by educators and experts in STE(A)M fields. Performance, art & cultural studies are also incorporated, creating a well-rounded program that has impacted lives for over 40 years. OM benefits all types of students as they learn to think beyond the box!

Our Values


Earth, space, chemistry, and physics. OM teams are allowed to tap into any scientific field.


Teams explore methods, systems, and devices to incorporate into or aid with construction of their solution.


Teams explore contemporary art disciplines, artistic vehicles, and artistic genres. The arts have no limitations in an OM solution.


Teams apply mathematical, artistic, technological and scientific principles to understand and build their solutions.


Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve the long-term problems.


Teams learn to think Beyond the Box™ and find the most creative solutions to our long-term problems.

Time Management

Teams learn to prioritize, delegate, set goals as a team and individuals, and determine their own deadlines to complete tasks.


Team members learn to share their ideas, thoughts, strengths and skills, with their peers.

Critical Thinking

Teams learn to analyze and evaluate the long-term problems and skills and determine how they will effectively form a solution.


Team members work together, combining their skills and ideas, to create a solution to an OM Long-Term Problem.

Our Problems

Problem 1: Vehicle

Teams design, build and operate either a ride-on or self-contained powered vehicle with various
energy sources.

Problem 2: Technology

Teams create innovative contraptions and devices while incorporating artistic elements into their solutions.

Problem 3: Classics..

Teams research, interpret and present a performance of a classic - literature to architecture to art to mythology.

Problem 4: Structure

Teams design and build a balsa wood and glue structure then test it to see how much weight it can balance and hold.

Problem 5: Performance

Teams present a performance that revolves around a specific theme and incorporate required humorous elements.


Grades K-2: Teams are introduced to Odyssey of the Mind with an age appropriate problem similar to a competitive one.


Creative opportunities often present themselves unexpectedly, so the ability to think on your feet is one of the most important skills a person can acquire. Our Spontaneous problems offer a way to hone that skill.
At competition, every team solves a Spontaneous problem. Teams are presented with a problem that is verbal, hands-on, or a combination of both. On average, they have 10 minutes to read the problem and solve it.

Check out the Current Long-Term Problems!

Each year, we release a problem synopsis. Take a look at the Long-Term problems that teams all over the world are solving right now!

Sample Problem & Solution:

Classics… The Effective Detective

From Sherlock Holmes to Nancy Drew, there have been many great literary detectives that have inspired readers. These characters were effective because they had the ability to look at the world differently, think spontaneously, use creative problem-solving, and use logic to verify clues. Who better to solve a mystery than Odyssey of the Mind teams? In this problem teams will create their own creative, effective detective that will find clues and solve a real-world mystery!

View Full Problem Here


Teams are formed by division and compete against teams in the same division and problem. Grade level determines the division for teams in the U.S. and in countries with an educational structure that corresponds to the U.S. Except for Division IV, teams from countries with a different grade system (“Other International”) and U.S. students who are not assigned a grade will have their division determined by the ages of the team members. In competition, each membership may enter one team per problem for each division it covers.


Non-competitive but may showcase at a tournament for feedback. Grades K-2 (U.S.). Less than 8 years of age on May 1 of the program year. (Other International.)

Division I

Grades K-­5 (U.S.): Less than 12 years of age on May 1, of the program year (Other International).

Division II

Grades 6­-8 (U.S.): Less than 15 years of age on May 1, of the program year (Other International).

Division III

Grades 9-­12 (U.S.): Oldest team member does not qualify for Divisions I or II and is attending regular school—not a college or university or anything similar (Other International).

Division IV

Collegiate for ALL TEAMS. All teams must have a majority of members who are high school graduates and registered for at least one class at a college, university, accredited technical school, or member of the military. Team members do not have to attend the same institution.


Yearly memberships are required to participate in Odyssey of the Mind.  A membership is only valid for one institution. Each membership supports one team per problem per division; this means that a Standard Membership can support 5-15 teams in competition! 

Standard Membership

Individual Schools/ Multiple schools sharing a principal (use school district name) Homeschools Community Groups College/Accredited Technical School/Military

Additional Membership

Only pertains to schools who enter two teams in the same problem and division in competition.

District Membership Gold
$240 per School

6 -10 individual schools

District Membership Platinum
$190 per School

11 or more schools

The Coach

Coaches come from all professions and from all walks of life. Although teams must have the support of the member school or organization, coaches do not have to be teachers.  Coaching an OM team is similar to coaching a sports team or overseeing an after school club.  The coach cannot compete or aid in constructing a solution, but they can help the students brainstorm.

The coach will offer guidance and encouragement, and teach team members how to explore possibilities, listen to others, learn from failures, and evaluate solutions effectively.  They can teach the team skills, such as sewing, painting, drilling, etc., but not to direct the lesson to be a part of the solution. However, no one, including the coach, may give the team ideas or assistance in developing the solution to the problem. It is amazing to see what the teams can do on their own and, in the end, the coach will be proud of their team for doing it themselves. And the students will amaze themselves and build self-esteem from knowing they did it on their own.



In most situations, teams first compete at the regional level. Those who place at this level advance to Association Finals at the state/province/country level, according to qualification criteria set by the individual association. Teams that place here are eligible to compete in the annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

Teams in areas that do not provide official competitions before World Finals may apply to go directly to World Finals and are approved on a first-­come, first-served basis. These teams must apply to CCI by April 1 of the program year to be eligible. They may also be allowed to participate in a neighboring state’s official competitions, with champions being selected from each state represented.





The Program Guide

Want to know everything about Odyssey of the Mind?
The Program Guide answers almost all of your questions about the program, competitions, and problems!


We're always available to answer questions. Our FAQ page is a great place to start getting all of the facts about OM!

General Information Page

Information at your finger tips! This generic flyer briefly explains Odyssey of the Mind and it's long-term problems for easy viewing and distribution.


Odyssey Academy

A 15 segment video series that helps coaches and teams understand Odyssey of the Mind in a conversational context and presentation.

Your Association

Questions about your local association can be answered by the Association Director. Contact information for your Association Director can be found on our local contacts list.

Connect with a member of our team!

Send an email to:

Give us a call at:
(856) 265-2797