Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind is an international organization dedicated to creative problem solving.

Christina Headrick is the coordinator for this program. Please contact her if you are interested in forming a team. (email)

Important dates for 2018:

  • TBD in October – Organizing meeting – Glebe Elementary School Library, students and parents welcome
  • TBD in November  – Coaches Training – St. Louis Catholic School, Alexandria, VA (recommended for new coaches and great for current coaches to learn new skills)
  • TBD in February – Judges’ Training – St. Louis Catholic School, Alexandria, VA (required for all competition judges)
  • TBD in March  – Regional Competition – West Potomac High School, Alexandria, VA
  • TBD in April  – State Competition – Menchville, VA

A team created a vehicle that traveled down a zipline!

What is Odyssey of the Mind?

Students who participate in Odyssey of the Mind will have a change to be part of a team working to solve a creative problem. The work culminates in a competition at the regional level (dates above). Teams contain up to seven students. The hallmark of an Odyssey solution is that it is student-driven, not coach driven!

The long-term problem solutions are typically short sketch plays that answer a creative question that can be technical (like building a vehicle students can ride on or a balsa wood structure) or dramatic (bringing new life to an old fable). All problems tend to involve both technical and dramatic aspects, so whether your student is more technical or creative, there is a place on the team for him or her. The plays can involve elaborate musical numbers, fanciful costumes, and clever dialogue.

Glebe’s Odyssey of the Mind teams get an opportunity to:

  • practice both teamwork and leadership,

    Superhero puppies tried to thwart a villain.

  • hone their creative-thinking skills,
  • take ownership for the solutions they create for Odyssey of the Mind problems,
  • present their solution at a regional competition, and
  • have fun!

Who should participate?

  • students who like to make things from odds and ends lying around – or students who would like to start making things from odds and ends lying around;
  • students who like to write plays – or students who would like to try their hand at writing plays;
  • students with big imaginations – or students who would like to have a big imagination;
  • students with technical minds – or students who would like to explore something technical;
  • in other words – anyone whose interest is piqued should consider signing up!

This team created a hovercraft that flew across the stage with two riders.

How to join a team

The number of Odyssey teams at Glebe will be dictated by the number of parents who are willing to coach, judge at the regional competition, and otherwise help out – as well as by the number of students who are interested in participating. We cannot have a team without a coach – and parents can attend a coaching workshop to learn everything they need to know to get started. There will be an information meeting to learn more – come check it out!

WHEN: TBD for 2018-2019 school year (sometime during Fall 2018).


When you sign up, we will need to know:

A student develops a car powered by a mousetrap.

  • Your student’s name and grade,
  • If you (or another adult you know) would be interested in coaching or judging the competition. If we do not have enough parent volunteers, we are unable to meet the Odyssey requirements to field the teams and some students will not be able to participate. Please SIGN UP below (coming soon!)
  • Confirmation that your student CAN participate in the competition all day on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at West Potomac High School in Alexandria. Typically, teams only accept students who will be available for competition day.
  • A commitment from your student to do the work and get creative! The Odyssey season is a six month journey. It is hard work but very rewarding in the end when students pull everything together.


Synopses for the 2018-2019 problems.

The full text of the problems will be released in fall 2018. For now – here‘s a synopsis of each problem. Teams will choose one to solve.



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