This program is open to students in grades 2-5.

2nd grade students must choose the Primary Problem Synopsis.


Email with any questions.



Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program for kids in grades 2 - 5 that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students. Kids 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. Each problem this year has been designed to be completed virtually.


How does it work?
Schools or community groups form teams of up to seven students. Each team chooses one of five competitive problems to solve. The problems appeal to a wide range of interests; some are technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance-oriented. Under the guidance of an adult coach, teams work on their solutions throughout the school year and present them at the Eastern Regional tournament in the spring.


How do students benefit from participation?
In Odyssey of the Mind, students learn at a young age skills that will last a lifetime. They work in teams so they learn cooperation and respect for the ideas of others. They evaluate ideas and make decisions on their own, gaining greater self-confidence and increased self-esteem along the way. They work within a budget, so they learn to manage their money. They see that there is often more than one way to solve a problem, and that sometimes the process is more important than the end result.


How are teams judged in competition?
Thousands of volunteers from around the world judge the competitions and serve in various positions to help make the tournaments a success. Teams are scored for their long-term problem solution, how well they solve a “spontaneous” problem on the spot, and “style” — the elaboration of their long-term problem solution.


Important changes/modifications for this year:

1) All state events will be held virtually this year.  This will not change even if/when schools reopen under plan A of B.  The problems for this year have been designed to make them fit in a virtual performance format.
2) World Finals will have both a virtual and in person competition if pandemic restrictions allow.  World finals this year is at Michigan State University.
3) All normal activities (Coaches Training, Spontaneous Fair and Skills Fair) will happen virtually.
4) All performances will be videotaped and submitted for judging.  There will be more information on that available at a later date.
5) The spontaneous competition will be a timed event utilizing different virtual rooms for the teams.  Due to this change, ALL team members can participate in spontaneous instead of the usual 5 members.  More information will be provided at the coaches meeting.
6) Results may not be available the day of the tournament for the long term problems.  More detail on the actual timing to follow.
7) Teams who choose the structure problem (#4) may be required to pack their structure and ship it somewhere for judging.  More information on this to follow as it is available.


MORE information

Important Dates:

Coaches Training - Oct 24 @ 8:30 am
Skills Fair - November 14 @ 8:30 am
Spontaneous Fair - January 23, Time TBD
Eastern Regional Tournament - March 6, 2021
State Tournament - April 10, 2021
World Finals - May 26 - 30, 2021


2021 Long Term Problem Synopsis can be found HERE.


Links to more information about Odyssey of the Mind program:
International website:
North Carolina Eastern Region website: