Southern Lehigh Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind (OM):
A unique program offering students the opportunity to learn skills often neglected in today’s test-centric educational system.

Lehigh Valley kids…..World-class creativity!

On their way to ODYSSEY OF THE MIND - WORLD FINALS in Ames, Iowa.

After six months of grueling work and winning regional and state competitions, this Southern Lehigh Odyssey of the Mind team went before the School Board on April 11.  These 11 and 12 year old kids stood bravely in front of the board and asked for their support in getting to the World Finals Tournament in Ames, Iowa. Competing in this tournament is a huge expense – the registration fee alone is $7600 and total expenses, including travel and transport for huge props and a team-created vehicle, will be almost $20,000.   With the tournament six weeks away, we simply cannot cover the full cost, even with the fundraisers we have done to date.  

Walking into the meeting, the kids were beaming with pride.  Making it to World’s is a huge accomplishment, but the team also earned the coveted “Ranatra Fusca” award for exceptional creativity and risk-taking in their technical solution.   They spoke from the heart, telling board members what they accomplished and how much OM has meant to them.  

Here is what one of our team members said to the board:

“Hi. I’m Marley. Ever since I was little I had breathing problems. I’ve had over 36 surgeries, and still have trouble breathing while running. This makes it hard to do most sports. Making it hard to fit in. For me OM is a thing of firsts. The first time I was part of a team, the first time I fit in. The first time I’ve ever won anything. And for all these firsts I am so grateful. I’m really hoping that the school board could help us with the cost of this because our team has worked so hard for this honor to represent our school.”

But sadly,  even though the board has funded teams previously, the school board voted 5-4 against providing the students any funding (the team only asked for the registration fee to be covered, not the entire cost).  The kids were crushed, to say the least.  They used creativity, hard work and intellect to proudly represent their school, and were devastated that their school district was unwilling to support them financially in any way.  

BUT!  With your help, we can get them there! PLEASE consider donating to the team and even if you are unable, please share this GFM page with anyone you know.  The more people who know about the kids and their dreams, the better! It was a huge disappointment that our school board was not willing to support this incredible team, but these kids refuse to give up!

OM is a competitive creative problem solving program that teaches valuable life lessons learned in a fun and challenging educational environment: STEM-related concepts, the value of teamwork, listening skills, leadership, risk taking, creative thinking, problem solving, time management, leveraging strengths, understanding weaknesses, and many other skills. For more information go to

  • Nancy & Bryon Arnone 
    • $40 
    • 68 mos
  • Sue Dubow 
    • $50 
    • 68 mos
  • Steffanie Breininger 
    • $50 
    • 68 mos
  • Kevin & Sara Ruch 
    • $50 
    • 68 mos
  • Amity Cassaday 
    • $50 
    • 68 mos
See all


Southern Lehigh OM 
Center Valley, PA
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