FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Odyssey of the Mind is such an incredible program because it is such a comprehensive program. Of course, because it is such a comprehensive program, it is not uncommon for new and seasoned Odyssey participants to have questions. Below are a few of the most common questions we see along with their answers. If you can't find the answer to your question, please check out the contact information at the bottom of this page.
QUESTION: Is there an Odyssey of the Mind group in my area for my child to join?
ANSWER: Odyssey of the Mind teams are sponsored by schools or community organizations, so if you aren't sure if there's an Odyssey group in your area, the best thing to do is to ask your child's school if they have the program. If they do, great! Problem solved! If not, let us know, and we'll help you bring the Odyssey of the Mind program to your school.
QUESTION: My child's school doesn't have Odyssey of the Mind; what can I do?
ANSWER: Easy! Start a program! We can help you work with your child's school to begin an Odyssey program or, if the school is unable to support a program, with a local community organization - like the local library, scouts, or even the local VFW. An Odyssey team can compete under the name of any existing organization.
QUESTION: When will the competition schedule be released for the Illinois tournament?
ANSWER: In order to schedule teams for the big competition, our volunteer coordinator has to know how many judges/volunteers will be available and when. As such, the competition schedule is typically completed once all the judge/volunteer training events have taken place (usually one week prior to the competition). We'd love to get it to teams sooner, but we get it out as quickly as possible. If there are scheduling concerns, just let us know!
QUESTION: What is the cost to do the program? Do you offer financial aid?
ANSWER: An Odyssey of the Mind membership for a school, district, or community is just $135 for the full year, which is typically paid by that organization (although parents can pay this fee if they want). Otherwise, there is no cost other than what the students spend solving their problem and even that is contained by a very limited budget that forces teams to think creatively (and cheaply) - this constraint also keeps the competition fair for schools from all income levels. Although Illinois Odyssey does not offer financial aid, we are able to work with schools to ensure cost is not the reason your students don't get to experience Odyssey.
QUESTION: Is Odyssey of the Mind only for gifted and talented students?
ANSWER: Nope! Everyone is welcome to compete in Odyssey of the Mind. While many schools do offer Odyssey of the Mind as part of their gifted and talented curriculum, plenty of other schools keep their Odyssey programs open to any interested student. Illinois Odyssey of the Mind believes that all students can benefit from the Odyssey of the Mind school program!
QUESTION: How do I start an Odyssey of the Mind program in my school/community?
ANSWER: Illinois Odyssey of the Mind has created a 45-page PDF that takes new memberships from A to Z with respect to starting a new Odyssey of the Mind program. We even provide a schedule called The 10-Week Method to help new coaches have a 'syllabus' of sorts to keep their teams on track to be ready for competition. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact our Membership Coordinator (see below) with details about your school, location, and contact information. You'll have an Odyssey program up and running in no time!
Still have a question? Don't worry - our team of volunteers can help! To make sure we can answer your question as quickly and as accurately as possible, we've created a handy, dandy guide below so that you can direct your question to the right person. Have a look below, and when you've figured out the right person for your question, click the colorful title to email! Be sure you have checked out the official Odyssey of the Mind Program Guide and the Illinois Odyssey website, as sometimes answers to your questions can be found in these helpful places!