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By Guest Writer Kristen Downs
Mother of Southwest team members
April 11, 2017 -- A Southwest Elementary School team took third place in their problem and division at the N.C. Odyssey of the Mind State Finals. A total of 128 teams of elementary, middle, and high school students from the five N.C. regions competed at the State Finals this year. While only the first two teams advance to the World Finals, the Southwest Team was proud to win an award in their second consecutive year of competing in the program.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.
Southwest Elementary Team chose the technical problem “Odd-a-Bot”, which involved developing a robot that could perform four different tasks that it “learns” by observing and reapplies each in a humorous way. The team had 8 minutes to perform a skit that meets the requirements of the long-term problem. The team was also judged on the style items that they chose, and a spontaneous problem that remains top secret throughout the competition and evaluates the team on their creativity and ability to work together.
Students from other Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools also won awards. The Brunson Elementary placed third in their category and students from West Forsyth High, Atkins High, Reynolds High, and Hanes Magnet Middle who were sponsored by the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter and competed under its name placed third place in their category.
The state finals competition marked the 35th anniversary of Odyssey of the Mind in North Carolina. Dr. Sam Micklus, the founder of Odyssey of the Mind, attended the N.C. State Finals and spoke at the award ceremony.