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What is Odyssey of the Mind ?

NY Odyssey is organized into Regions throughout the State, with a Regional Director coordinating the program locally.To find out if Odyssey is offered in your school, or to start a new Odyssey program in your school contact the relevant Regional Director. If you don't know what region your school district is in then use our Region Finder.

Open to students from Kindergarten to College, teams work throughout the school year on solutions to one of six long-term problems. These are then presented in the form of an eight-minute performance at a regional competition. Regional winners advance to State Finals and then compete again hoping to represent New York at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, meeting and forming friendships with students from across the US and other countries. 

What is Odyssey?
Erin Morrison OM
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What's Odyssey of the Mind Animation- Information, Misconceptions, and Life Lessons
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Matt Kreher OM
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Long-term problems

​Fresh each year, Odyssey of the Mind problems incorporate aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) as well as going one step further to include the Arts.

Check out the 2023-2024 problem synopses for this year!



Teams design, build and operate vehicles of various sizes and different power sources to solve certain tasks.Teams perform an original skit with the emphasis on the running and testing of the vehicle.


Teams design and build innovative devices using technology ranging from basic engineering and electronics to advanced robotics.  The teams incorporate artistic elements along with their technical devices in a creative performance. 


Teams write and perform original theatrical performances based on a work from classical literature, artwork, music, culture, or history. Bringing a new look to existing masterpieces.


Teams design and build a balsa wood structure. The structure is tested during an original performance to see how much weight it bears. Teams create and present performances where testing their structures is part of the action. 


Teams present performances that revolve around a specific theme integrating stage and drama elements from lighting effects to elaborate set changes. Original characters and unusual situations give OMers plenty of opportunity to show off their creativity. 


These problems are simpler and designed to provide younger students with a fun non-competitive, and instructional experience that helps introduce them to Odyssey of the Mind.

Spontaneous problems


But wait, that’s not all … they are also faced with an unknown new problem that tests the team’s ability to think on their feet, on the day of competition, using the skills developed throughout the year. These spontaneous problems can be verbal (using creative play on language), hands-on (requiring building techniques), or verbal hands-on (a combination of both). 

Let the games begin...

Check out clips of teams from a recent State Tournament

Learn More

“You can’t use up creativity.

The more you use, the more you have.”

~ Maya Angelou
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