Odyssey of – what? Odyssey of the Mind is a competition that teaches students all over the world to learn creative problem solving in a team-based environment. Teams sign up to solve a problem in October and present their “solution” at the competition in March. Teams winning 1st or 2nd place in their state competition earn an invitation to the World Finals – an opportunity to compete against top teams from other US states and about 35 foreign countries.
What sort of a problem? This year, our team had to build an original human-powered vehicle, which would (a) slalom through the track (forward, then in reverse), (b) use an extension to "curl" a ball into a target zone, and (c) use another extension to strike down as many targets as possible (interspersed with obstacles, not to be moved) in a single pass – all to be presented in the form of a coherent theatrical performance in under 8 minutes (start to finish, including setup time).
How did the team do so far? They earned 1st place, becoming the 2018 State of Vermont vehicle problem champions in the 3rd-5th grade age category! (Yay!) See that knee-high trophy in the photo? It now sits in the Malletts Bay School trophy case!
What’s that pink Racoon in their award frames? Not only did they win, but their presentation earned a special “Omer Award” from the judges (Omer the Racoon is the Odyssey of the Mind mascot) for a particularly effective solution to striking down targets – all mowed down clean on the first pass, no obstacle touched. (Woo-hoo!!)
Can it really cost $5,000 to go to a competition? Well, yes. Between transportation from Vermont to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa – the site of this year’s World Finals, lodging, meals and tournament-related expenses for six players and two coaches, we are working hard to stay within that budget. With only a few short weeks left before the trip, the players are eager to help fundraise in every way possible. Frankly, we the parents and coaches would rather leave them to polish their solution for the big stage. This is why every dollar donated is a minute saved for the kids to focus on preparation and a chance to even better represent Vermont!
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
- Michael Dalleo
- Brendan Mulvey
- Ashley Black
Fundraising team: Malletts Bay School OOTM (3)
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