Three district teams qualify for Odyssey of the Mind Worlds

Date Published: 
March 31, 2017

Three teams of Indian River School District students qualified for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals with second-place finishes at the state competition on March 25 at Alfred G. Waters Middle School in Middletown.

A team coached by Mary Bixler and Laura Miller took second place in the “Catch Us If You Can” category for Division II (middle school). Members of the winning team were Isaac Chandler, Abigail Guy, Mason Cathell, Jaxson Chandler, Mia Trageser and McKenna Miller.

A team coached by Wendy Joseph and Haley Mears was a second-place finisher in the “To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger” category for Division II. Members of the winning team were Kayla Boyden, Paige Shiflet, Romario Cordoba-Cordova, Joshua Silva, Eliana Nunez and Harley Tidwell.

A team coached by Jennifer Perry and Robin Hall took second place in the “To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger” category for Division III (high school). Members of that winning team were Lexi Hall, Kayla Harant, Madison Johnson, Kaila McCabe, Olivia Hudson and Ethan Rakes.

Odyssey of the Mind was founded in 1979 by Sam Micklus of Glassboro State College. The competition encourages students to find solutions to open-ended problems by utilizing creative problem-solving methods. Each year, five new competitive problems are presented and teams spend months working toward solutions.

There is a limit on the amount of money teams can spend on materials used in their creative solutions. During the competition, teams are also required to solve a spontaneous problem as part of their score. Millions of students from kindergarten through the collegiate level have participated in Odyssey of the Mind since its inception.

“Catch Us If You Can” required students to design, build and run vehicles from a multi-level parking garage to a secret meeting place without being stopped. Vehicles traveled different routes to reach the same destination and during their journey did something that prevented them from being followed. The performance included the reason for the meeting, a person who wanted to prevent the meeting, a simulation of a scene taking place inside a vehicle and a soundtrack to accompany the vehicles’ travel.

In “To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger,” creativity was being taken away from the world, and it was up to the team to rescue it. Teams created and presented a humorous performance about an unexpected superhero who encounters three different situations where they must save creativity in some way. The superhero changed in appearance when displaying their superpowers. The performance included a clumsy sidekick, a nemesis character, a choreographed battle and a cliffhanger ending.

All three IRSD teams qualified for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, to be held May 24-27 at Michigan State University.