It’s Time for Odyssey of the Mind Sign-ups!

It’s time for Odyssey of the Mind sign ups! Packets are available in the offices at JHS and Knox (information from the packets is also set forth below). All students at Warren and Glebe are receiving the paperwork this week.

Odyssey of the Mind is a fun extracurricular program, where teams of 5-7 students work to solve a complex problem through their very own 8 minute skit.  A regional competition is held in March and will be held at Johnstown High School for this year.  If your child likes solving problems, being challenged, working with friends, and demonstrating creativity… Odyssey of the Mind might be for him or her! Sign-up Forms are due back to the Glebe, Warren, Knox, or High School office by Sept. 27, 2019. Please contact Kristin Meashaw if you have any questions.

What is Odyssey of the Mind?

  • A fun extracurricular enrichment program where students use creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills
  • Students work in teams of 5 – 7 members to create a solution to a chosen problem, which is performed at competition
  • Although there is an adult coach, the program is totally student driven
  • Students build 21st century skills that they can use in the real world
  • Teams usually meet at least once a week (starting later in October), possibly more often when getting closer to the competition on March 14, 2020.

Who we are looking for:

  • Johnstown students in 2nd – 12th grades (from Glebe, Warren, Knox & JHS)
  • Students who are willing to MAKE A COMMITMENT to a group and stick with it, attending team practices when scheduled
  • Students who are willing to use PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS and don’t need an adult to always tell them what to do
  • Students who ENJOY A CHALLENGE and want to have fun
  • Students who like to be CREATIVE

Parent Volunteers are also needed!  We are looking for adults who are willing to help out/coach a team.  The number of teams we are able to form depends on how many parents step forward.  There will be a training meeting held on October 16, 2019 to get you started!

What to do if you want to join:

  • Fill out attached sign up sheet and return to your school NO LATER than Friday, September 27, 2019.
  • Attend our REQUIRED kick-off meeting, with a parent, at Warren Street School on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 (6-7:30pm).  Learn more about the program, get to know your team, and schedule meeting times with your coach.
  • For parents/adults only – please keep up-to-date by joining one or both of the following groups (both are safe places for reminders & to share pics):
    • Facebook Group – Search Johnstown Odyssey of the Mind (closed group, will need to join)
    • Remind App – From a smartphone enter this number: 81010, then text this message: @omupdates (the group is called Odyssey Families 2019-20).
  • If you have questions, contact Mrs. Kristin Meashaw (Program Coordinator and Warren Street Teacher) at


  • Popcorn Sale Fundraiser @ Warren Street only (school-wide) – Friday, September 27th, 50c a bag with proceeds going toward Odyssey program
  • Johnstown’s Odyssey of the Mind Kick-Off – October 22nd @ Warren St., 6-7:30pm (a parent needs to attend this first meeting with their student)
    • What are my Odyssey responsibilities and what is outside assistance?
    • Meet my team & coach – team building time
    • Schedule when & where to have meetings
  • McDonald’s Night Fundraiser, Johnstown – November 12th, 5-7pm – help spread the word, 20% of all proceeds go toward Odyssey program
  • Spontaneous Night (for Warren, Knox, JHS teams) – January 7th @ Warren Street, 6-7:30pm / Snow date January 9th
  • Spontaneous Workshop (for Glebe teams only, but will be looking for some experienced older Odyssey students to help out) – January 13th @ Glebe Street, 3:30-5:15pm / Snow date January 14th
  • Johnstown Team T-shirt Orders – due January 17th / $10 each
  • Dress Rehearsal – Your team will be scheduled on either March 10th OR 12th @ Warren Street (schedule to be determined in February, probably 5-7:30pm range each night, but you won’t need to stay the whole time)
  • Regional Competition Set-Up & Registration – Friday, March 13th @ Johnstown High School, 3-8pm / WE ARE HOSTING and will need many volunteers!
  • Regional Competition – Saturday, March 14th @ JHS, all day event / WE ARE HOSTING and will need many volunteers!
  • End of Year Celebration – March 23rd, 6-7pm @ Warren Street
  • State Competition – For a select few teams that place 1st (or receive a 2nd place wild card spot) at our Regional Competition – Saturday, April 4th @ Binghamton University, all day event (more details to follow for teams lucky enough to qualify)

2019-20 Long Term Problem Synopsis

Tentative as of April 22, 2019. All problems have an 8-minute time limit

Problem 1: Longshot Solution

A group of “Longshots” believe a disastrous event that threatens the world is about to occur and must stop it. Because no one takes them seriously, it is up to the Longshots to solve the problem. To succeed they must send materials from all corners of the world using vehicles that overcome obstacles and travel simultaneously into and out of a Reaction Area. As time counts down the Longshots will use the components, including baking soda, to create a reaction that produces a very special effect and saves the day! Divisions I, II & III

Problem 2: Net Working

Computers, satellites, and servers work continuously to allow people from all over the world to network with each other. These networks give us access to information including communications, messages, and videos. In this problem, the networked devices are characters who work to keep the world connected. During the performance, an image, a text message, an email and other information will be transmitted between locations in a team-made system. Pop-up advertisements appear and a malware character will infect the network and take it offline. An anti-virus hero comes to the rescue and team-made instruments will be used to present an original song that explains their jobs. Divisions I, II, III & IV

Problem 3: Classics…The Effective Detective

You will be introduced to one of the greatest detectives the world has ever known as they follow clues to uncover the truth behind some of history’s real-world mysteries. The detective will investigate different types of information, including a clue that is a “red herring” i.e. a distraction, and do intellectual battle with a supervillain who wants the detective to fail. Sounds will ring out and settings will creatively change to set the scene and highlight the action. The team will also be challenged to use the smallest space possible to store its solution. Divisions I, II, III & IV

Problem 4: Balsa Limbo

Teams will build balsa wood structures that are created by adjusting its interconnected parts. When the parts are not in the final form for weight testing, they must be able to pass under a limbo bar. Higher score will be awarded for how low the bar is when the structure passes under it. However, the bar is not allowed to be lower than ½”! The limbo bar test and maneuvering the structure for testing will take place during the performance time. Testing of the structure will take place during a performance with a theme about dancing and movement. Divisions I, II, III & IV

Problem 5: Gibberish or Not

Genius or not so smart, statements change from Gibberish at the start. Do the thoughts shine or miss the mark? Masses think they’re being led out of the dark. A Champion arranges meetings with those in power, and gibberish ideas bloom like a flower. The crowd replaces thoughts with wisdom, and a Child sees it is all just humdrum. Misinterpreted over and again, twisted words fly in the end. Music blares and the celebration is wild, and misunderstanding is accepted by the child. The performance will explain why the child does not reveal the truth that what they believe is wisdom was really just gibberish. Divisions I, II, III & IV

Primary: The Fashion Bug

The team’s problem is to create and present a humorous performance that includes a fashion show for insects. An up-and-coming designer will be highlighted as a narrator describes the odd and curious fashions as they are modeled. A team-created song, a commercial, and a critic who reviews the Fashion Show are all part of the performance. Grades K-2

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