Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem solving competition.
Our Glebe Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind team is a group of seven 9 and 10 year old girls, who have worked for more than 100 hours together since October 2017 to solve a problem requiring the engineering of three kid-designed machines and the development of a creative presentation (writing original music, choreographing a dance, building a set, making costumes, etc.) to show their solution.
These students have had several mottos as a team, including "we lose as individuals, we can win as a team," and "you have to earn it - work!" They have gone through a design/test process, fine-tuning their inventions, disagreeing, working it out, and finally, arriving at a wonderful solution to their problem. Several of the girls are considering careers in STEM fields, partly because of their participation in the Odyssey of the Mind program while at Glebe. They mixed their interests in engineering with their creativity and the arts (visual, dance, and music), to complete their project.
The Odyssey experience has taught that you can achieve your goals with determination and hard work. It has given the girls opportunities to work as a team and also to develop leadership skills.
As a result of their efforts, the team WON at their regional tournament, and then, the recent Virginia State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament.
They are now the first team from Glebe ever to win at the state level! State Champions!!
The girls now have an invitation to compete at the World Tournament for Odyssey of the Mind, which requires travel to Ames, Iowa, in May. That is also a first for our school! We are the only team from Arlington Public Schools heading to this year's World Tournament. The girls believe that they can win again, and that is their goal.
The kids (and us coaches) also hope to bring back lots of knowledge and expertise from this experience, and to pay it forward, helping other kids who want to try new things working with an Odyssey of the Mind team at Glebe and in our county.
But first, our State Champion Odyssey team needs to raise a lot of funds by April 27th to cover the minimum cost of registration for the World Tournament by that deadline.
Our total costs for the trip will be:
$8,400 to cover the tournament fees, lodging in a college dorm, and meals for the kids (and parent chaperones) during the four-day competition.
$6,600 for team transportation, which includes flights and rental vehicles; One parent is traveling with each child to provide support during this awesome (but kind of intense) experience. We are a group of 14 moms and daughters.
$1,000 to ship our school Odyssey long-term engineering project to Iowa for the competition. Still trying to decide how.
And about $1,000 for other expenses such as team t-shirts, eagle hats, and other items, because we intend to show our GLEBE PRIDE everywhere we go at this international competition!
The kids will each have Virginia Odyssey state pins to trade with teams from around the world. And they will need to come up with a keepsake gift to give a team from another country who will be their buddy team. They will create a costume (and have to buy supplies for this!) for a team member to wear while representing Virginia on our state float during the parade of states and countries on the second night. All of these little details do add up, of course.
For most of us parents, this is a wonderful, but totally unexpected expense. Our school has a diverse student population, with many income levels, and our team reflects our school. It is our goal as a team to make sure that participation in Odyssey of the Mind is always open to all students, and that being on a successful Odyssey team is not a burden to any team member financially, so we are hoping that our community, friends, and family will consider supporting the team in their goal of competing at the World Tournament.
Please consider making a small gift in honor of a family member, a friend, a birthday, or just because you want to support the team's hard work. Your donation empowers the development of creative thinking skills, and encourages our all-girls engineering team to continue striving to solve new problems. Your donation empowers this team to continue working to become leaders and problem-solvers in their school and community.
The team will be thankful for any donation or expression of support. Please consider a donation, no matter how small, even a few dollars. Thank you!
- Maggie Sullivan
- Lisa Bolejack
- JH & P Bria