Normally I try to synthesize and rewrite the information that people send me, but I so enjoyed reading these coaches’ descriptions of the international creative problem-solving contest called Odyssey of the Mind that I thought I’d share them with you. You can also find the “long-term problem synopses” for 2012 here.
First, from Steve Trowbridge, who coached an all-girls team from Oakland’s Edna Brewer Middle School (Brewer’s only team), which is pictured above.
Problem 5: Odyssey Angels
The Angel students with their special powers took on the evil Angels and saved the day for a community of hippies. The evil Angels were trying to cut down the sacred tree.
Roger B. Moore, a Glenview Elementary School dad, gave us this summary:
This year Glenview had 49 students participating on seven different teams, four at the Division I level (Grades 3-5) and three at the primary level (Grades K-2). At last Saturday’s regional tournament, each team did an eight-minute presentation on their “long term” problem and worked on an impromptu solution to a “spontaneous” problem. The four Division 1 teams worked on different problems:
- The “Ooh-Motional Vehicle” team created and drove a working vehicle that could respond to commands and show human emotions.
- The “Weird Science” team presented explorers on a scientific mission explaining the cause of mysterious events shown in a NASA photograph.
- The all-girl “To Be Or Not To Be Team” put on a Hamlet-inspired musical comedy, in which playwright Wilma Shakespeare visited the future, argued with Stevie Jobs, and uncovered secrets of her past.
- The “Odyssey Angels” team created a play in which a traveling group turns negative situations into positive ones.
All three primary teams worked on the same “Hide and Seek” problem. They created and used a device to lift three containers from 5, 8 and 10 feet away, revealing “surprise” objects underneath.
- Team 1 had a superhero freeing animals from a “bad zoo” and promising to get them to a good zoo.
- Team 2 had an old detective from ancient China using giant chopsticks to reveal a dinosaur, a tiger, and the tiger’s script for the play.
- Team 3 had a special grabbing device uncover details of things that are especially important, such as friends and family.
Montclair Elementary School entered four teams into the tournament. Heather Hughes reports there were 28 kids and eight coaches involved. Two of the teams were the headline-inspiring “Team Awesome,” and “Ice Cream Snails.”
One team received the Renatra Fusca award, which represents the essence of the Odyssey of the Mind. It is presented to teams or individuals who exhibit exceptional creativity, either through some aspect of their problem solution, or an extraordinary idea beyond the problem solution. This team will advance to state competition.
Joaquin Miller Elementary School had 40 kids on six teams. Karen Fee, the school’s Odyssey of the Mind coordinator, reports that least two of its teams are going to the state contest on March 31.
Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, this here vehicle is a land canoe.