Odyssey of the Mind

omlogoOdyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members 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.

More information for SY 19.20 TBA soon!

See the creative experience of Odyssey 

Join a Key School Odyssey of the Mind Team

Key has a long and successful legacy with Odyssey of the Mind.  Recent teams from Key have won at the Regional competition and selected to compete at the State and World levels.


Why do it?

  • To develop higher level thinking skills through creative negotiating and problem solving skills in a team environment.
  • To make new friends and learn unique approaches to things through drama, art, music, construction, etc.

When does it start?

  • K-2nd graders start after January 1st.
  • 3rd-5th grades start in November.

 How does it work?

  • Teams of 5-7 children each are formed based on grade by the coordinator and/or the coaches.
  • Meeting days are generally once a week immediately after school until around 5 p.m. This schedule is flexible within each team and based on coach and team members’ availability.
  • All teams create a short skit, complete with costumes, dialogue, props, and other individual problem-specific parameters (such as the inclusion of a vehicles, balsa structures, songs, literary and artistic references, etc.).
  • The skit is performed at a judged event in March with teams from other Northern Virginia schools.
  • Participation by students is a privilege provided by volunteers. Students will be required to sign and abide by a behavior contract in order to participate fully.

Who are the Odyssey Coaches?

  • You could be an Odyssey coach! All teams are coached by a parent volunteer. No experience is necessary. Formal training is provided as well as you will have access to other Key School Odyssey coaches, past and present.
  • All parents will have a role — you can coach or assist your child’s team (training date TBA), provide weekly snack, plan the dress rehearsal, coordinate spontaneous practices, be trained as a regional judge (training date TBA), or volunteer at the NoVA East meet (Saturday, March 15, at West Potomac High School).
  • Success depends on students’ involvement, commitment, efforts, and creativity!

How Much Does it Cost?

  • We request a $10 donation which can be paid online. This money is used to pay for the registration for the Key team’s membership, coaches’ training, judges’ training and participation at the regional competition.
  • Coaches may request additional support for snacks or materials needed for the team.
  • If your team is awarded a spot at the State or World competition, each team would be required to cover their travel costs. The PTA can assist with fundraising for those teams if needed.