Six teams of 3rd through 7th graders from Thatcher Brook and Crossett Brook schools competed last weekend along with more than 50 other teams at the VT State Odyssey of the Mind tournament. Three won first place trophies and three came in second place at the creative problem-solving program’s annual competition.
Both teams from Thatcher Brook Primary School won first place in their categories. The 4th grade team solved a technical problem with a fishing theme where they built several devices to fish for objects. The 3rd grade team competed in the theatrical category where the problem involved humor, a song and dance, and animal characters who had to help each other.
A team of 4th- and Crossett Brook Middle School 5th graders won first place in its category and also received a special creativity award for its humorous combination of themes from Aesop’s fables and modern social media. A team of Crossett Brook 5th and 6th grade boys and girls ranked second in a problem that required they build a structure out of balsa wood. A third Crossett Brook team of 6th and 7th graders created a vehicle that assisted characters in a skit with recycling.
In all, 36 local students including one from Bishop Marshall School and 10 parent volunteer coaches participated in OM. All six teams qualify to compete at the OM World Finals in late May this year at Iowa State University. Several teams are considering the trip. Teams from across the U.S. and a handful of other countries attend World Finals.
OM is an extra-curricular creative problem-solving competition for students from kindergarten through college. OM builds teamwork, encourages risk-taking, and rewards originality. Teams typically have 5-7 student members. They choose from five problems and present their solutions at the state contest in the form of a short skit.
Our OM program is supported entirely through fundraising and family contributions. Several fundraising events including a bottle drive will be held in the coming weeks to support the Iowa-bound students. Details will be announcements in school blogs, on Front Porch Forum, and in the Waterbury Record.