Odyssey of the Mind 2021-2022

Odyssey of the Mind

Registration runs through October 15. Register by completing this online formProgram LogoAny questions can be directed to Spencerport's district coordinator, Sara Snarr via email.

What is Odyssey of the Mind? 

Well ... it's part drama, part engineering, along with some art, writing, maybe some music, a generous dose of teamwork, and a few other things thrown in just for fun. Overall, it's LOADS of creativity combined with lots of fun. The key to Odyssey of the Mind is that students run the show and that's one of the biggest reason why students love Odyssey of the Mind.

Why Odyssey?

Odyssey of the Mind is a high impact educational experience that teaches students outside-the-box thinking. Students develop soft-skills that they will need in order to be prepared for college and career such as creativity, teamwork, confidence, public speaking, improvisation, and initiative. Students wrestle with complex problems and together propose and implement multi-step solutions. These projects expose students to cross-curricular experiences that model real-world applications of knowledge in the work place. Students involved experience a boost in their sense of self-efficacy, and love the opportunity for self-expression, following their passion, and team bonding. 

Who can participate?

Odyssey of the Mind is open to all students registered in Spencerport schools in grades K-12. One of the basic tenets of OotM is that creativity can be learned. Students need no prior experience or skills. As long as each team of 5-7 students has a coach, they are ready to go! Finding a coach is key and any willing adult qualifies: a parent, grandparent, neighbor, teacher, etc. The program is completely dependent on volunteer coaches and teams are formed as coaches volunteer.  

primary team getting ready to present

What is the time commitment?

Most teams start meeting weekly in November for 1-2 hours. As teams get closer to the regional tournament in March, they may add a second meeting during the week. Meetings are arranged by the coach at a time that works for the majority of team members. Some older teams will also do a few longer meetings on weekends or during school breaks to finish preparing for the tournament. If the team advances to states and possibly worlds, there will likely be a few additional practices to fine tune the team's solution. See the Tournament section below for more information about those higher level trips.

How much does it cost?

Costs are very low--typically $25-35 per student to cover supplies plus the cost of a t-shirt for the tournament ($10-12). If teams advance to the state or world competition, the bulk of travel expenses will fall on families. See the Tournament section below for more information. 

To learn more, check out these resources: 

Affiliated Organizations:                      

2021-2022 Calendar: Odyssey of the Mind logo

Please make note of the following dates.

  • Recruitment Meeting: Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 6:30pm in the Cosgrove Library
  • Team Registration and Formation Period: September 15-October 15, 2021. Teams start meeting by early November. Individuals may join existing teams after this period only if spots are available. No new teams will be formed.
  • Judges Training: TBA
  • Coaches Support Meetings: 2nd Monday of every month at 7pm from October-February (except October) plus February 28 in the Cosgrove Library. Dates are: Oct. 18, Nov. 8, Dec. 13, Jan. 10, Feb. 14 & 28.
  • Pin designs due: Monday, November 1, 2021
  • T-shirt Designs Due: Friday, January 7, 2022
  • Spontaneous Workshop: TBA
  • T-shirt Orders Due: Friday, January 21, 2022
  • Regional Tournament: March 4-14, 2022 online
  • State Tournament: Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Syracuse, New York at the NY State Fairgrounds
  • World Tournament: TBA


Three Tournaments give students an opportunity to showcase their long-term problem solutions, and to compete in spontaneous problems. Scores for both types of problems are combined for an overall score. The highest scoring teams will advance to the State competition in Binghamton and perhaps on to World's. 

Cosgrove team advanced to compete at states in 2019

Greater Rochester Regional Tournament

This local tournament will be conducted online next spring. Long-term problems solutions will be emailed to judges. Spontaneous problems will be solved by teams via video conferencing. 

States Tournament 

If your team advances to States in Syracuse in the spring, families should plan for a very fun but long day. This is a very exciting event! State Tournament details can be found here.

World Tournament

Details for worlds in late May can be found on the Odyssey of the Mind website under the World Finals tab. Again, the school district will offer some support for students attending the tournament but students will need to prepared with several hundred dollars to cover costs. Family members accompanying teams should plan to pay their own expenses. Teams and families are welcome to apply their creativity to fundraising.

Odyssey of the Mind coaches smile