World champs X2

| 08 Jun 2017 | 05:28

— Since 1978, Odyssey of the Mind problems have challenged students to think outside the box and incorporate creativity into learning. Today, there are thousands of schools participating in Odyssey of the Mind. Teams represent every state in the United State and about 25 other countries
The Warwick Valley School District has competed in Odyssey of The Mind since 1991.
“On behalf of the school district, I’d like congratulate the students involved in the OM competition,” said Superintendent David Leach. “To win at Worlds is a testament to the teams’ collaboration and creative problem-solving skills. Thanks to the parents and coaches who provided support to the teams, and special thanks to district teacher and OM coordinator Donna Denny, whose leadership and dedication were instrumental in the teams’ success.”
Every year, teams compete at a regional level, and those that place first advance to a state-level competition. The top two teams in each category then advance to World Finals.
Competing against 800 teams in the finalsTeam members work together for months to creatively solve a long-term problem. They must also participate in a spontaneous portion of the competition by generating solutions to a problem they have not seen before.
In solving the long-term problem, the students brainstorm and write an original skit, which they perform in front of a panel of trained judges. They also design and build a set themselves out of recycled materials and design their costumes.
This year, two of Warwick’s teams – Sanfordville Elementary and Warwick Valley Middle School – advanced to win first place in their division at the 38th Odyssey of the Mind World Championships at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.
More than 800 teams from 15 countries competed in the World Finals – the largest competition of its kind.
Building robotsBoth teams happened to choose the same problem in the technical category, which involved building a robot.
The middle school’s team included Kayla Amato, Sasha Blanchard, Stephen D'Ambrosio, Mary Hoey, Kyle Gutierrez and Aiden Woods.
They created a PVC robot that wowed the audiences and the judges.
“I was satisfied with the way the robot turned out," said seventh-grader Aiden Woods. "The hardest part was figuring out how to make the robot's technical actions successful. The many failures along the way just made our team work even harder.”
Sanfordville’s team – Naa Korkoi Aryeetey, Killian Bauman, Ava Gell, Olivia Holland, Alexa Keys, Jay Seward and Julie Woods – chose Mother Goose nursery rhyme characters as its theme.
The team's skit included a set with moving parts, the use of book pages in their costumes, and a rhyming script. These details earned them the highest creativity award given in the competition.
“This team's work was exceptional," said Coach Rekha Woods said. "They went above and beyond in both their robot design and their dramatic presentation. They worked together for countless hours and enjoyed every minute of it.”