Berthoud Elementary School fielded two teams in Saturdays Odyssey of the Mind Long’s Peak Tournament at Berthoud High School.
Odyssey is an international educational program that provides creative problem solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. The kindergarten through second grade students participates in the non-competitive Primary category.
All primary teams use the same problem to create their skits and all students receive a medal for participation. The presentations are graded by Odyssey judges, but scores are not announced. Instead, the score sheets are given to the coach for self evaluation.
The Primary problem for this year was “Surprise Party.” In Surprise Party, the team was to create and present a humorous performance that includes a Surprise Party for a team-created character. The theme of the party is a surprise because it is being given for something that is not normally celebrated. Partygoers will give three gifts that help symbolize the theme of the party. The performance will also include an original party “noisemaker” that makes an unusual sound instead of a loud sound. The cost must not exceed $125.
Part of the Odyssey experience is the spontaneous problem. In addition to the long-term problem described above, the team must try to find a creative solution to a new problem presented to them.
Berthoud Elementary Primary team members are Abby Bunch, Dylan Carter, Kaitlynn Hanes, Amber Holt, Jeromiah Lewis and Hannah Roberts. None of this would be possible without coaches, and working with these children is Shann Holt.
The Berthoud El team set their surprise party in Egypt, complete with a pyramid. The cast had four princesses, a guard and a merman.
As often happens, problems arise during the presentation. The judges look at how the kids deal with these unexpected situations and it enters into the grading. The Berthoud Elementary team had constructed a popcorn noise maker and when they tried to make it work, nothing happened. There solution was throw the popcorn by hand. They handled the situation with aplomb and continued with their skit as though nothing happened, just like real troopers.
After the medal presentation, Coach Holt looked at the scores and said, “We did really well. The kids had a great time and enjoyed working together as a team.” This was a first time experience for most of the kids, only Amber Holt had participated before. If they stay together, this team will move to Division I as third-graders next year.