Odyssey of the Mind

A unique opportunity to showcase a child's gifts in visual arts, engineering, problem solving, team work, leadership, and critical thinking.

What is it and Who is it for?

OM is a regional and national team-based competition for kids K-12 who are motivated and eager to learn how to be creative problem solvers and then apply their problem solving skills to tackle a fun challenge. Teams are between 4 and 7 kids and the same school can have multiple team entries.


What is the timeline?

Program planning begins in the fall; peak team activity occurs weekly in January and February; and the regional competition typically takes place in February. Winners at regionals have the opportunity to advance to state and national competitions in the spring.



Watch this video of our information Zoom session


Link to the presentation


For more information email BVE OM Coordinators Anne Kohler at akohler0503@gmail.com and Pooja Devendran at psdevendran@gmail.com


2021 Burton Valley Elementary Odyssey of the Mind Regional Showcase Submissions

Enjoy the team's first-round submissions below!

Problem 5:
Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning (the Theater Problem)

Get ready for a story that begins with a cliffhanger “ending.” A Superhero is in peril and needs help to escape. Just as all hope seems lost, the Superhero puts on a pair of Super Socks that give the hero a special power. The Superhero uses the power to escape and fend off an adversary who caused the cliffhanger situation. Teams will also create an extreme weather setting, a humorous character, and a sound effect that occurs whenever the character activates the Super Socks.

Team “Sockateers”, BVE 4th grade

Jacqueline Evans

Kiran Borman

Leena Devendran

Ryan Kohler

Coaches: Anne Kohler, Pooja Devendran


Team “Laundry Land”, BVE 5th grade

David Siu

Lauren Brekke

Olivia Parker

Pareesha Chopra

Sarina “Raini” Chugh

Sanika Khamkar

Sophia Moore

Coaches: Maia Siu, Anna Stubbington 


Problem 4:
It’s a Trap! (the Balsa Wood Problem)

Oh no, it’s a trap! Or is it? In this problem, teams will design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue, if desired, that holds as much weight as possible after it is used to trap a moving object. However, an oblivious character will unwittingly avoid traps it does not recognize in a humorous performance. The performance will also include a narrator character that alerts the audience to the action and the traps. Note: Wrecking Ball Structure II will return in the future when competitions are not in a virtual platform.

Team BVE 3rd grade

Dylan Tang

Edith Fritsch

Farah Falahati

Lincoln Wellington

Mazin Abrams

Zahin Shah

Coaches: Seema Shah, Aaron Fritsch 


Problem 2:
Virtual Odyssey (the Vehicle Problem)

Creativity is boundless as teams create a performance that includes a Virtual Reality World. As part of the world, they will design and build various technical effects, which include changing something that is two-dimensional into three-dimensional. During the performance, a character will unknowingly enter the VirtualReality World where it will encounter a nefarious creature. It will learn the rules of collecting credits in the virtual world as the odyssey progresses. Finally, the character will escape the “clutches” of the creature and earn the last credit that allows it to journey back into the real world. The team will also create a special effect indicating to the judges and audience when the performance goes into virtual reality.

Team BVE 4th grade 

Alden Sturm

Bennett Golik

Chloe Horowitz

Matthew Yin

Coaches: Daniel Horowitz, Kristina Sturm


Primary Problem:
Animals are People Too!

People see the world in different ways. Imagine looking at one thing and seeing something else. In this problem, teams will create and present a humorous performance about a magical pair of glasses that when looked through, make people look like animals. Teams will design a costume that transforms a character’s appearance from human to an animal, and another costume that transforms an animal to a different animal. A character will attempt to duplicate the glasses, but the copycat version doesn’t work the same way. What is seen through the copycat glasses will be represented by an artistic representation.  

Team BVE Grade 1

Adison Tang

Alma Templeton Nabilek

Lucas Vaniman

Sahej Preet Singh Batra

Coaches: Shaila Narang Batra, Nin Tang, Tara Thorsen


Team BVE Grade 2

Amelia Stack

Avery Bunch

Collins Piacente

Emma Stack

Miri Robinson

Sloane Meyer

Coaches: Courtney Nielson, Sarah Stack


Team “Cheetahs” - BVE Grades 1/2

Imogen Mahoney

Ingrid Baucom

Madeleine LaPorte

Miles Paras

Willem LaPorte

Coaches: Dennis Mahoney, Laura LaPorte