Student Life

Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

What makes Odyssey different?

Odyssey of the Mind is a competitive program, but it's nothing like your typical sporting event. The competitive element encourages kids to be the best that they can be, but it's a friendly competition. Kids learn from and even cheer on their competitors. Odyssey of the Mind is not a college bowl or a competition about knowledge. It's all about creativity, an often overlooked element in the growth and development of many students. Kids are rewarded more for how they apply their knowledge, skills and talents, and not for coming up with the right answer. In fact, in Odyssey of the Mind problems, there isn't one right answer. Ever.

Students work in teams to learn cooperation and respect for the ideas of others. They evaluate ideas and make decisions on their own, gaining greater self-confidence and increased self-esteem along the way. They work within a budget, so they learn to manage their money. They see that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and that sometimes the process is more important than the end result.

What are the competition levels?

In the U.S., the first level of competition is usually within a region of a state. Teams who place are invited to compete at the state level. These championship teams are then invited to participate in the annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, where they compete with teams from countries around the world, including Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, and Uzbekistan. New countries join the program each year.

Williamsport Area School District has a very proud tradition of all our schools participating at various levels of competition with our students going as far as Odyssey of the Mind World Finals for several years.

For more information about Odyssey of the Mind and how to get your child involved or become a volunteer, contact your school.

Art

Children love art. Art is more than doodling on paper or learning to color inside the lines. Our art curriculum will help teach children in fourth through sixth grades about:

  • Pennsylvania art and artists
  • Art through the ages
  • Exploring modern art

Music

No matter how our musical tastes can differ from person to person, music can inspire us, feed our emotions, and provide an outlet for creative expression. Music can also be used to help teach concepts like counting, math, historical facts, science and more. Williamsport Area School District has a strong foundation in music and has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education for the past 16 years.