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Odyssey of the Mind HQ's international director, Sammy Micklus, recounts the origins of what was then Olympics of the Mind – when his father and founder of the program Dr. Sam recruited him to volunteer. Sammy goes on to tell the tales – or tails, as OMER might say – of the program's milestones and memorable solutions, including a look at what goes into writing problems, scoring guidelines, and clarifications. This conversation was originally recorded in 2020, and released in 2023 following a busy three years this side of the pandemic – and, well, extreme procrastination. To support PODyssey of the Mind, you can share information about our Jumpstart Grant program with PA educators and parents at, or visit to make a donation. Support the show
Odyssey of the Mind's top dog (top raccoon?) joins us to discuss this past year's Virtual World Finals and how the coming 2020-21 season is shaping up. We're thrilled to have Sammy Micklus, Odyssey of the Mind HQ's program director, in this first part of a two-part series. Sammy's father, Dr. Sam, founded the program in 1978. Over the past 40 decades, Sammy has watched Odyssey of the Mind grow. This year, Sammy and his team at Odyssey HQ led thousands of creative problem-solvers and volunteers from around the world to navigate through an unprecedented "spontaneous problem." In this episode, he reflects on the outcome and looks forward to the new season. Support the show
Good people of the PINternet, we're back! This week's ePINsode is chock full of pins. Pin trading is a staple of the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals experience. Long-time World Finals officials and pin gurus Ryan Blackman, Olivia Holvik, David Palermo, and Paisley Ramstead join us for our first coast-to-coast show to discuss the economics of pin trading, their favorite pins, displaying their pins, and their friendship born of a mutual love of – you guessed it – pins. These four Odyssey alums also extol the virtues of participating in Odyssey of the Mind and discuss the skills they use in their careers and lives to this very day. As Paisley says, "No matter what you're into, or what your skills are, there's a spot in Odyssey for you."Support the show
Are they coaches, or are they OMers? The answer is – both! We caught up with a team of 11th grade OMers who run a creative problem-solving summer camp called "Makers, Take the Stage!" in western Pennsylvania. It's a mini version of Odyssey of the Mind that the students came up with a few years ago when they didn't want the fun to stop after competing. From Mt. Lebanon High School in western Pennsylvania, we're joined by Nikki LaSota, Anna Mares, Natalie McGee, Melody Reynolds, Ruby Siefken, Leah Vuillemot, and their coach Kerry McGee. They discuss the genesis of "Makers, Take the Stage!" and some of the things they've learned from the younger students they mentor. They also discuss their experiences as OMers, having competed in nearly every different long-term problem and applying their skills in unique, Ranatra-worthy ways.Support the show
Ariel and Drew

Ariel and Drew


Back in Pennsylvania this week, we get the scoop from two rising high school seniors in the Masterman School Odyssey of the Mind program in Philadelphia. Long-time OMers Ariel Weinbaum and Drew Brown talk about pushing the envelope with their long-term and spontaneous solutions, their World Finals buddy teams, Ari's family's Odyssey obsessions, Drew's unconventional competition day diet, and why they choose to be a part of Odyssey of the Mind among all of the options high school students have today.Support the show
We cross state lines for our biggest episode ever! Coaches Doug MacConnell and Justin Sulsky join us with several of their fourth and fifth grade OMers from the Long Beach Public Schools in New York. Mr. Mac and Mr. Sulsky discuss how they started coaching teams a few years ago – coming in with no past Odyssey experience – and worked their way to bring teams to World Finals both in-person, and virtually this year. Their team members jump in with stories and strategies from creating their solutions. And even the district's assistant superintendent, Dr. Paul Romanelli, was on the call to lend his support!Our conversation emphasizes how an Odyssey of the Mind team is like a family. The young OMers discuss how they are using their Odyssey skills and teamwork to help their community with an Odyssey Angels project. As Mr. Sulsky says, "I think that global issues like racism and the pandemic, only prove more about why we need to nurture the talents of our young kids."Support the show
A special edition of PODyssey of the Mind: We're joined by Odyssey alumni from across the state of Pennsylvania for our first ever Virtual Graduation Ceremony. Members of our state board who are past OMers shared their wisdom for our graduating seniors, who had their own stories to add. It was a special evening that we are excited to share with you! Congratulations to the class of 2020!Support the show
Abby, Lorna, and Luca

Abby, Lorna, and Luca


What do a bubble machine, magnetic silverware, and melted Starbursts have in common? Find out in this week's episode featuring North Penn High School teammates Abby Boquist, Lorna Loughery, and Luca Scott! A graduating high school senior, an incoming high school senior, and a college freshman respectively, these three OMers reflect on how their Odyssey paths brought them together to advance to World Finals in 2019. Support the show
Kartik and Robbie

Kartik and Robbie


In our inaugural episode, graduating Pennsbury High School seniors Kartik Kannan and Robbie Oleynick discuss some of their favorite Odyssey memories, mentors, and – of course – pins. They also explain the challenges they've faced as high school seniors during the pandemic. Support the show
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Great episode! It was worth waiting for. Hoping to hear more interviews that you’ve rec

Aug 9th
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