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

2nd grade students must choose the Primary Problem Synopsis.



*Details of  Information Sessions Below in the Important Dates Section*


Welcome to the MPE Odyssey of the Mind page. We are incredibly proud of the success of this program.  If you are new to the competition, read The Basics. If not, scroll down to the long-term problem synopsis, important dates and registration info. We can't wait for this new year to begin.


The Basics 

what is odyssey of the mind?

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program for kids 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. At MPE, students from grade 2 to grade 5 can choose to participate.


How does it work?

Our school will form teams of 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 two adult coaches, teams work on their solutions throughout the school year and present them at the Eastern Regional tournament in the spring. The number of teams will depend on the number of interested students and the number of volunteer coaches. 


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.


2023-2024 Long-Term Problems and Program Dates


Read about this year's long-term problems.


Important dates

MPE Info Session#1 

Monday, Sept. 11th at 7PM - Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/agq-mtai-fof


MPE Info Session#2

Wednesday, Sept. 20th at 7PM - Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/eod-kcxt-byf

Deadline to apply  Oct.7th
Coaches' Training (MPE)  TBD week of Oct. 11
Coaches Training (NCOM)  Oct. 21
Skills Fair  Nov. 11
Spontaneous Fair  Jan. 20
Eastern Region Tournament  Mar. 2
NCOM State Tournament  Mar. 23 




is your student interested in joining an MPE Odyssey of the mind team?

Our Odyssey of the Mind coordinator will lead 2 information sessions before teams are created.


Our application form will open up in your PTA account after the first information session. You will need to complete this form by October 7. The form is to register your student's interest in the program but does not guarantee your student a spot. The number of available spots will depend on the number of student participants and the number of parent coaches. If your child is placed on a team, you will need to fill out the "contract" form and pay the $50 fee.


If you want to stay up-to-date with all our Odyssey of the Mind news, please tick the "Odyssey of the Mind" box in the Family Information form in your PTA account. This will add you to our "Odyssey of the Mind Community Board" mailing list. All updates will be posted on that Community Board this year.


If you would like to volunteer as a coach, please fill out the this Google form.


If you are new to Odyssey of the Mind, here are some things to consider/know:

  • Student grade:
    • Your child can only participate if they are in Grades 2 to 5.
    • If your child is in grade 2, they MUST participate in the primary problem. Their team will be formed from grade 2 students that register. 
    • If your child is in grade 3, 4 or 5, please enter their #1 problem choice in the application form but also tick off any problems they are willing to do. We take this information into account when we form the teams.
  • Application process:
    • The application form will open up after the first info session in your PTA account. If you have not yet created an account on this website, please do so. You will need to complete the Family Information with your child's teacher's name and the Directory Publish Preferences in order to see any available forms. Make sure you click on the Odyssey of the Mind box (in the Family Information form) so you automatically get added to our notification list.
    • The only way to guarantee your child is placed on a team is by volunteering to be a coach. The number of teams depends mainly on the number of coaches. 
  • Time commitment
    • Check the important dates above. You can only join a team if you are able to participate on the Eastern Region Tournament date (Mar. 2nd). 
    • Once the practices get started (end of October/beginning of November), a typical practice schedule would include a 1-hour practice before school in a classroom and a 2-hour practice on the weekend. Extra 2-hour sessions are usually added on closer to the tournament in January and February.
    • It is very important that if you commit to a team, you understand that your team members are relying on you to show up and do your part. After a team is registered with Odyssey of the Mind, members cannot be replaced. We have had teams that have had to forfeit halfway through the year because of lack of attendance by team members and even by coaches. This is a waste of time, effort and money for everyone involved so please take this commitment seriously. 
  • Registration AFTER team placement
    • If your child is placed on a team, you will need to make sure you:
      1. Are a paid PTA member
      2. Submit the $50 registration fee
      3. Sign the parent and student contracts
    • If you are a coach, you will need to make sure you have completed your Wake County background check to volunteer. 

MORE information

International website: https://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

North Carolina Eastern Region website: https://ncome.org/
MPE Odyssey of the Mind Chair mepom@millsparkpta.com