Mar 13, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Skaneateles elementary, middle and high school students had a typical strong showing at the Odyssey of the Mind competition held Saturday, March 10, with six teams winning their competitions and therefore heading to the state competition in Binghamton at the end of the month.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program in which students in grades four to 12 work in teams to come up with creative ways to solve problems.
Teams work on their skits, props and scenery for their solutions from fall through spring. The regional competition in which Skaneateles participates covers schools in the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, including Skaneateles, Jordan-Elbridge, Port Byron, Weedsport, Moravia, Auburn, Union Springs, Cato-Meridian and Southern Cayuga.
According to the Odyssey of the Mind website (odyssey of the mind.com), the problems this year are:
The problem requires teams to design, build, and drive a vehicle that will travel a course where it will encounter three different situations. The vehicle will display a different human emotion for each encounter and one will cause it to travel in reverse. The team will create a theme for the presentation that incorporates the vehicle and the different emotions. The emphases will be on the technical risk-taking and creativity of the vehicle’s engineering for travel and change of emotional appearance.
The team will create and present a performance about a team of scientists on an expedition to uncover the cause of mysterious events. The team will select the location of the expedition from NASA Earth Observatory Photographs . The scientists will collect two samples and will report on their findings. The performance will also include a technical representation of the mysterious events, the appearance of actually traveling, and a team-created device that the scientists use on the expedition.
To Be or Not To Be
In this Classics problem, teams will put a musical theatre spin on one of William Shakespeare’s most famous lines: “To Be Or Not To Be.” Hamlet, the title character, ponders this question and realizes that the easy way out is not always the correct choice. An original “Hamlet” character will face a team-created dilemma. Unlike Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the team’s character will take the easy way out only to discover that it was the wrong choice. Teams will also incorporate a character that portrays Hamlet’s conscience, a creative scene change, a creative costume change, and use of a “trap door.” A portion of the performance will include musical theatre elements.
You Make the Call
For this problem, teams will design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that will balance and support as much weight as possible. The structure may have a maximum weight of 9 grams and will receive 2 times the weight held, or 12 grams and receive 1 ½ times the weight held, or 15 grams and receive the actual weight held. The testing of the structure will be presented in a performance that includes mathematics in its theme.
The team will create and present a performance where a group of students travel throughout one or more team-created places where they encounter negative situations. These “Odyssey Angels” change what they find and turn them into positive situations. On their journey, they help two individuals with different problems and help save an entire community from a bad situation. One Odyssey Angel cannot speak, and another has a special team-created power.
—In the Ooh-Motional Vehicle problem, State Street Elementary Team A tied for first place, and State Street Elementary teams C and B placed second and third, respectively. Skaneateles High School also placed first Division III
—In the To Be or Not To Be problem, State Street Elementary Team A placed first, Skaneateles Middle Team B placed second and Skaneateles High School placed first.
—In the You Make the Call problem, State Street Elementary Team A placed second, but will go to state competition as a lottery team winner.
—In the Odyssey Angels problem, State Street Elementary Team A placed first, State Street Elementary Team C placed third, Skaneateles Middle Team A placed third, and Skaneateles High School placed first.
The first place winners in each problem — from each of the 16 regions — move on to the state tournament, which takes place March 31 at Binghamton University.
World Finals are at Iowa State University, May 23 through May 26.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.