Presbyterian School Odyssey of the Mind Teams Win 1st and 3rd Places at State Tournament

April 19, 2012

Four Presbyterian School teams made an impressive showing at the Texas State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament on April 14.

The Presbyterian Lower and Middle School Odyssey of the Mind teams successfully presented original solutions to complex problems and won state recognition and trophies- one Presbyterian School team placed first and three Presbyterian School teams placed third in their divisions.

The 7th Grade Team, including Katharine Juden, Julian Castro, Emma Shea, Jessica Simon, Abbey Rank, Angelica Carrizal, and Lauren Childers, received 1st Place in their Division. This team will advance to the World Competition in Iowa during the weekend of May 26.

The 4th Grade Team including Kameron Villafana, Zach Kroencke, Ellie Beaver, Adam Dunn, Sara Wheat, Thomas Minton and Amelia Williams, received 3rd Place in their Division. 

The 5th Grade Team, including Pheobe Crow, Claire McNeill, Delaney Newsome, Olivia Mandola, Arabel McFarland, and Rachel Koch, received 3rd Place in their Division. 

Another 7th Grade Team, including Katie McCulloch, Marion Watkins, Emily Gonsoulin, Christina Rockrise, Julia Calaway, Kelsey McCollum, and Spencer Mclean, received 3rd Place in their Division. 

Beginning in September, all the Presbyterian School Odyssey of the Mind teams have been working on solving two types of problems: Spontaneous and Long Term.  Spontaneous Problems require students to think on their feet and work together as a team. They are given verbal, hands-on, or verbal and hands-on types of problems with just a few minutes to come up with a solution in front of a panel of judges.

The team also chooses to complete one of five Long Term Problems designed by this year’s National Odyssey of the Mind.  These are different kinds of problems, which appeal to different types of creativity.  Some of the problems are more technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance based.  While they have all year to develop a solution to their chosen Long Term Problem, students have about eight minutes to present their solutions to a panel of judges. In both Spontaneous and Long Term problems, children are encouraged to look at something in a whole new way.

The Odyssey of the Mind program teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process. For more than 25 years, this unique program has helped generate excitement in students. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems — great and small — for a lifetime. Children learn to brainstorm, organize, be creative with materials, and work together as a team. The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems without any outside assistance from adults. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking “outside of the box.”   Children form teams of 5-7 students, solve problems, and bring their solutions to competition.  Division 1 incorporates 3rd-5th Grade and 6th – 8th Grade make up Division 2.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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