Odyssey of the Mind regional competition
Many kids in the Southern Tier got bit by the creativity bug this weekend. Children took part in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. Our Elyse Mickalonis shows us some pretty interesting designs.
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BINGHAMTON -- It’s an event that truly showcases creativity.
"In Mexico, they usually wear ponchos and we thought, 'How can me make it look cool?' So, we took duct tape and put it on plastic ponchos,” said Sara Williams, W.A. Olmstead Elementary School fifth grader.
Caitlin Anthony, West Middle School sixth grader, added, "Some problems, you have to build a little tiny structure and have it hold a ton of weight; but then, there’s other problems where you just have to perform a skit."
104 elementary, middle, and high school teams took on a variety of Odyssey of the Mind challenges on Saturday, a turn out that’s bigger than the past two years.
"You get more of a sense of what all is available creativity-wise. Having more teams means there’s more opportunities for more students to get involved in such a great program,” said Emily Asare, Odyssey of the Mind Judge.
The Region 12 competition blankets a big area from Elmira to Syracuse. Some said travel impacted their creations.
"We had two cars. So, we had a lot of stuff in each car. Some stuff got crushed and we had to fix some stuff today; but, I think we’ll go to states,” said Anthony.
Judges said the competition allows kids to use their imaginations.
"You can only get so much from a textbook at college or from your teacher because they've been teaching in the field for so long,” said Asare. “This opportunity, OM, gives them the opportunity to use their minds, and think, 'OK what kind of science do I know to make the problem work?'"
Letting kids think outside the box to gain interest in problem solving is a skill that's useful both inside and outside of school. Winners will move on to the state competition in two weeks at Binghamton University. World finals will be held at Michigan State University in May.