Eight-two Teams get Creative at Problem Solving
By Gary Wamsley
Berthoud schools fielded five of the 82 teams at the Northern Regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament held on Saturday, March 14 at Berthoud High School. The school was packed with 500 team members, at least one coach per team, over 80 volunteers to help with tournament activities and an untold number of parents and grandparents.
The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem solving methods while having fun in the process. The process seemed to work on Saturday as everyone seemed to enjoy the day and the enthusiasm was still strong after nine hours as the kids cheered each other at the awards ceremony.
The Odyssey competition is comprised of two events. One is the spontaneous competition in which the team is faced with a problem that may challenge their verbal or mechanical skills. The teams that think outside the box usually score highest in these 10- to 30-minute brain-testing sessions. These challenges are held away from the hustle and bustle of the tournament activity. Observers are not allowed so as to keep the “puzzle” secret from later participants.
The long-term problems are the spectator events. The middle school teams had a choice of five problems to choose from and the elementary school teams all have the same problem.
The Berthoud Elementary and Ivy Stockwell teams’ problem was the “Candy Factory” in which they had to create a performance about a candy maker. The twist was that the primary ingredients for each type of candy had to be something healthy. They had to create a setting that looked like the inside of a candy factory and have five samples. During the performance the candy maker had to present the candy to customers and explain how they were made.
The Berthoud Elementary team consisted of second-grader Tim Sontag as the candy store owner, with first-graders Elliot Read as the Green TV Reporter, Amber Holt as the Mermaid, Autumn Bunch as the Mercat and Katie Worrell as the Merdog. Tom Stanley, coach.
The Ivy Stockwell team showing their medals are (left to right) Delaney Lord (2nd grade), Oscar Baker (kindergarten), Aidan Stewart (kindergarten), Taylor Dower (2nd grade), Gillian Malinowski (2nd grade), Coach Maureen Dower. According to Dower, “Ivy Stockwell got a perfect score on the presentation of the long term problem solution (200 out of 200 points). They did well in the two other areas: Style points and Spontaneous. They don’t rank Primary teams, so Ivy didn’t “win” or “lose” but succeeded in their own goal: doing a great job and having fun!” You can catch their performance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ess4VTaio1M
Two of the Turner Middle School Teams chose a problem called “The Lost Labor of Heracles” in which the team reenacted one of the 12 labors he was called upon to do as well as a lost labor, one forgotten to history. The performance must include a god or goddess from Greek mythology and a reason the 13th labor was lost to history.
The Division II Team consisting of Angele Kahn (7th grade), Nicole Silver (6th grade), Haley Condor (8th grade), Olivia Eppler (6th grade), and Alijah Kahn (6th grade) and coached by Barry and Libby Eppler took Second Place with their performance. The team constructed a frame of PVC pipe to hold three different backdrops for scenes.
The other team on this problem competed in Division III because they had one high school student member. Approaching the story of Heracles in quite a different manner the team of Melody Blackis (7th grade), Emmie Wellems (7th grade), Trenton Pippin-Mandley (8th grade) Tess Stewart (8th grade), Brendon Stewart (10th grade), Analyse DeSousa (7th grade) and Anna McCabe (8th grade) created a giant size book whose pages turned to new scenic backdrops. They made their coach, Scott Stewart happy by taking first place in their division.
The other Division II team from Turner Middle School chose a problem called “Superstition.” The performance had to include two documented superstitions and the creation of a new one. It also required a costume worn by two or more team members at the same time and a funny narrator. In this version, the church was the narrator and the superstitions had to do with weddings. Something new became a gnu. In this scene we see 8th-graders Emilie Henning and Kaitlyn Baker talking to Aja Mattisse-Lorenzon while Stefanie Messick plays the church. David Bakers team took second place.
To see more photos from Odyssey of the Mind click HERE
<p>The Berthoud Elementary teams shows the imagination that goes into creating costumes.</p>
<p>The Turner Middle School team shows off their medals.</p>
<p>A scene from the performance of “The Lost Labor of Heracles.”</p>