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Are you interested in a creative problem-solving adventure?!


Do you want to be part of a fun program where kids are in charge and your imagination is the limit?!



Odyssey of the Mind

is for you!




Odyssey of the Mind is a worldwide program where students meet after school in small teams to come up with a creative solution to a problem.  They brainstorm ideas and then they make their ideas a reality by building and creating.  The students present their solution in a regional tournament.  It is an exciting process of learning to think and work independently with only adult encouragement. 


Problem Choices

There are five problems to choose from for students grades 3-5.  The problem descriptions can be found below.  Each student will be asked to pick their top two choices.  They will be placed on a team with other students that are interested in the same problem.  There is only one problem choice for students in grades 1-2.  This year it is called Hide and Peek and it is also described below.


Registration Details

Odyssey of the Mind is a VERY popular program at Legacy and we fill up fast!  To ensure a place for your child please register immediately!  This year we will be doing online registration.  The online registration form can be found at the following web address:  Registration closes on October 3rd.  There is a $40 participation fee for each student.  Payment will be due on or before October 5th at our Kick-off meeting.  Checks should be made payable to Legacy Elementary PTO.


Kick-Off Meeting

All registered students and their parents need to attend our Kick-Off meeting on October 5th at 7PM in the cafeteria.  At this meeting, you will find out your team members and your coach and we will go over important information.  There will be NO registrations accepted at this meeting, so please register online by the October 3rd deadline.



Odyssey of the Mind is coached by parent and community volunteers.  We cannot have teams without coaches!  Coaching is mainly hosting meetings, encouraging creativity, and keeping the students on task.  It‘s a lot of fun!  All coaches will receive training and tons of support, so don’t be intimidated!  Ideally, we will have two coaches for every team.  If you would consider “assistant” coaching, please indicate on the registration form.  If there is another person you would like to coach with, please put that information in the comments box.


QUESTIONS?  Please contact Jenna Little at or 703/542-6320.  For more information about the Odyssey of the Mind program, please visit .



PROBLEMS FOR 2011 - 2012


Primary Problem (Grades 1-2): Hide and Peek
The team is to create a device that uncovers three surprise objects by lifting a team-decorated container off of each of them from 5, 8 and 10 feet away. The containers may be raised at any time, in any order, and may be raised simultaneously. The demonstration of the solution will be presented during a performance that integrates raising the containers and the surprise objects in its theme. There will be a narrator character and a setting.


Grades 3-5, please pick your top two problems from the choices below.


Problem 1: Ooh-Motional Vehicle

The problem requires teams to design, build, and drive a vehicle that will travel a course where it will encounter three different situations. The vehicle will display a different human emotion for each encounter and one will cause it to travel in reverse. The team will create a theme for the presentation that incorporates the vehicle and the different emotions. The emphases will be on the technical risk-taking and creativity of the vehicle's engineering for travel and change of emotional appearance.


Problem 2: Weird Science

The team will create and present a performance about a team of scientists on an expedition to uncover the cause of mysterious events. The team will select the location of the expedition from NASA Earth Observatory Photographs. The scientists will collect two samples and will report on their findings. The performance will also include a technical representation of the mysterious events, a moving backdrop that helps portray traveling, and a team-created device that the scientists use on the expedition.


Problem 3: To Be or Not to Be

In this Classics problem, teams will put a musical theatre spin on one of William Shakespeare's most famous lines: "To Be Or Not To Be." Hamlet, the title character, ponders this question and realizes that the easy way out is not always the correct choice. An original "Hamlet" character will face a team-created dilemma. Unlike Shakespeare's Hamlet, the team's character will take the easy way out only to discover that it was the wrong choice. Teams will also incorporate a character that portrays Hamlet's conscience, a creative scene change, a creative costume change, and use of a "trap door." A portion of the performance will include musical theatre elements.


Problem 4: You Make the Call

For this problem, teams will design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that will balance and support as much weight as possible. The structure may have a maximum weight of 9 grams and will receive 2 times the weight held, or 12 grams and receive 1 ½ times the weight held, or 15 grams and receive the actual weight held. The testing of the structure will be presented in a performance that includes mathematics in its theme.


Problem 5: Odyssey Angels

The team will create and present a performance where a group of students travel throughout one or more team-created places where they encounter negative situations. These “Odyssey Angels” change what they find and turn them into positive situations. On their journey, they help two individuals with different problems and help save an entire community from a bad situation. One Odyssey Angel cannot speak, and another has a special team-created power.

Last Modified on September 22, 2011