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  • What is Odyssey of the Mind?
    We like to describe Odyssey of the Mind as STEAM meets Theatre. Students work throughout the year at their own pace (more competitive students practice more, and others who just like the OM fun take a more casual approach). They work in teams of 5-7 students with one or more coaches. Students do ALL of the work, where ZERO outside assistance is permitted from coaches (with the exception of helping the team members understand the problem), parents, teachers, etc. In March, the team competes at the regional competition in both the long term portion as well as a spontaneous problem. The long term problem is the 8 minute skit where students present their solution to the long term problem in front of a live audience and highly trained judges. The spontneous part of the competition occurs separately from the long term, but on the same day. Here's a video I like to share that helps explain more, from OMers themselves:
  • How do I register for Keystone Oaks Odyssey of the Mind?
    Parents that would like to register their student(s), please fill out one form for each student planning to participate HERE. Payments of cash or check only (made payable to Keystone Oaks - Memo: Odyssey of the Mind) should be sent directly to Jessica Dobson at 2981 Voelkel Ave Pittsburgh PA 15216
  • Who is the coordinator of Keystone Oaks Odyssey of the Mind?
    Jessica Dobson is the OM coordinator for the district. Feel free to email her at or call/text 412-915-7891.
  • Who can compete in Odyssey of the Mind at KO?
    All K-12 district students, including those in home or charter school are welcome. Note (as per OM rules): Each team must consist of students from the same school, with one student exception. Ex: A team with 5 students from Dormont Elementary and one homeschooled student is permitted, where a team of 4 students from Dormont Elementary and two homeschooled students are NOT permitted.
  • Can a student from outside of Keystone Oaks compete on our team?
    Yes, but only if the student from another district goes to a school that does not compete in Odyssey of the Mind. Also, a letter of acknowledgement from the principals of both schools must be sent to the Regional competition.
  • How much does it cost to participate in Odyssey of the Mind?
    Division 1-3 (3rd-12th Grade): Registration fee is $50. Primary (K-2nd Grade) -- Registration fee is $40. Registration fees help cover the cost of membership fees, regional competition fees, spontaneous fun day registration, coach stipend (for materials) and t-shirts for the competitions. Additional fees: The coach can turn in receipts for reimbursement for materials up to $50. Other supplies for the team should be donated toward equally from the entire team. If you need to purchase something for the team to use, typically the team parents will come together. This being said, each team has a cost limit different for each problem. The theme of OM is reuse and recycle, making the students really think outside of the box when it comes to funds. If your team advances to the state competition you are responsible for competition fees and accommodations. Keystone Oaks School District does sponsor a portion of the trip, and our KO coordinator does all of the planning and sets up fundraising opportunities to pay for your trip.
  • My team doesn't have a judge or volunteer, can we compete?
    No. In fact, the team will not be registered until the coach fills out the registration form (linked here). In that registration form you will need to identify your judge and volunteer.
  • My team wants to compete in Spontaneous Fun Day, what do we need to do?
    All teams are welcome to compete in the yearly Spontaneous Fun Day and it's a great tune up before the regional tournament. In order to compete in Spontaneous Fun Day, the coach must identify a Spontaneous Judge that will go to Judge's training and judge at Spontaneous Fun Day. All teams that compete must bring a trained Spontaneous Judge. Once you've recruited a judge, just let Jessica Dobson know ( and she'll register your team.
  • What is the time commitment for Odyssey of the Mind?
    The amount of time spent, and when/where to meet and practice is completely up to the team and coach. The only mandatory Odyssey of the Mind Event, is the Western PA Regional Tournament, which is always the first Saturday in March. As soon as the school year starts, teams can begin to meet, prepare, and practice. Most teams meet once per week as a group, and then assign tasks/projects to be completed as individuals or in smaller sub-groups. That way, the team members can choose when to work on it. OM is usually pretty light in the fall and then gets busy after the first of the year. The last two weeks are usually a mad rush of paint, cardboard, glue, wood, costumes, music and tears. We call it Crunch Time, it's a blast.
  • My child wants to compete but does not have a team identified.  What do we do?
    We try our hardest to assign all students to teams. A lot of teams form organically through friends and identified coaches (usually parents), but a lot of teams (especially the younger students who have not had the chance to compete yet) will be grouped together by the Keystone Oaks Odyssey of the Mind coordinator. Unfortunately, registration alone does not guarantee a spot on a team for your child, a lot of this depends on registration numbers as Odyssey of the Mind is VERY strict on their 5-7 students ONLY per team.
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