Four Teams from District 97 Advance to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

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By Community Editor

Three teams of students from Mann Elementary School and one team of students from Percy Julian Middle School qualified for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals following their successful performance at the state tournament in Belleville, Illinois on March 31, 2012. They will be among the hundreds of teams from around the globe that will compete for title of world champion at Iowa State University from May 23 to 27.

For the past several months, the students from District 97 have worked on identifying solutions to long-terms problems that were developed in conjunction with the Odyssey of the Mind educational program. During the finals, these solutions will be judged on several factors, including creativity, risk-taking and style. The students will also be given a spontaneous problem that they must solve on the spot to add to their team’s overall score in the competition. Below are the names of the students and coaches for each of the district’s team, as well as a brief summary of the problem they have been working on.

Long-term problem 1, Ooh-Motional Vehicle – Students had to design, build, and drive a vehicle that would travel a course where it would encounter three different situations. The vehicle had to display a different human emotion for each encounter and one that would cause it to travel in reverse. The team created a theme for the presentation that incorporated the vehicle and the different emotions. The emphases were on the technical risk-taking and creativity of the vehicle's engineering for travel and change of emotional appearance. The Mann students who worked on this problem were Jonathan Brukhartz, Fiona Golden, Goren Hoyle, JP Hurtado, James Kennedy, Liza Montgomery and Lila Stratman. They were coached by Terri Brukhartz.

Long-term problem 2, Weird Science (sponsored by NASA) – Students had to create and present a performance about a team of scientists on an expedition to uncover the cause of mysterious events. The team had to select the location of the expedition from NASA Earth Observatory Photographs, collect two samples and report on its findings. The performance also had to include a technical representation of the mysterious events, the appearance of actually traveling, and a team created device that the scientists used on the expedition. The Mann students who worked on this problem were Abby Bankes, Nick Bango, Christian Barrett, Ella Meyering and Levi Raskin. They were coached by Rachel and Jodi Cressman.

Long-term problem 4, You Make the Call – Students had to design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that would balance and support as much weight as possible. The problem also required students to explain a mathematical discovery in the course of their solution. The Julian students on this team, which included Julia Harris, Julia Meister, Jeremy Pesigan, Mylee Rolock, Kobi Schindler, and Max Yokoo, created a structure that weighed 15 grams and held 460 pounds. The team was coached by Joshua Rolock and Dianna Thomas.

Long-term problem 5, Odyssey Angels – Students had to create and present a performance where they travel throughout one or more team-created places and encounter negative situations. These “Odyssey Angels” change what they find and turn them into positive situations. On their journey, they help two individuals with different problems and help save an entire community from a bad situation. One Odyssey Angel cannot speak, and another has a special team-created power. The angel’s super power for the district team was to turn anything into yummy, personality bubble gum. The angels used the gum to save a town’s water supply and rescue the Narwhal population. The Mann students who worked on this problem were Katie Dickel, Nico Gonzalez – Stuver, Alexandra Hedgeman, Noah Hedgeman, Maddy Share, Gabriel Udofia and Jacob Weiss. They were coached by Traci Udofia and Bridgette Hedgeman.

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