Creativity will soar at the upcoming regional Odyssey of the Mind “Olympic Games!” Monroe-Woodbury’s most celebrated problem-solving athletes will compete for a place at States this April.
On March 4, more than 100 teams of creative problem-solvers will descend upon the Orange-Ulster BOCES campus in Goshen from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. for the annual Odyssey of the Mind Competition. Monroe-Woodbury will be proudly represented in our 37th year of Odyssey participation with five teams competing in three different problem areas. Thirty-three M-W students will take part in this day that celebrates creativity, teamwork, ingenuity and perseverance. Teams of 6-7 students each range from third graders to seniors who have been working tirelessly since early October to create a problem solution that is as entertaining as it is unusual.
This year’s Odyssey problems include:
- Designing, building and running vehicles from a multi-level parking garage to a secret meeting place without being stopped. Vehicles will travel different routes to reach the same destination. During their Odyssey, the vehicles will do something that prevents them from being followed. The performance will include the reason for the meeting, someone that wants to prevent the meeting, a simulation of a scene taking place inside a vehicle as it travels, and a soundtrack to accompany the vehicles’ travel.
- Creating a humorous story about a family that brings home an “Odd-a-Bot.” Instead of being programmed to perform tasks, this Odd-a-Bot robot learns from watching others. Teams will design, build, and operate an original robot that demonstrates human characteristics when performing tasks. In the performance, the Odd-a-Bot will move and learn human actions from watching characters perform activities such as household chores, creating art and dancing. The Odd-a-Bot learns more than it was expected to learn, and will confuse its actions with humorous results.
- Portraying the future and the past colliding in this problem about important works of art – both existing and yet-to-be-created. Teams will create and present an original performance about time travelers looking to discover the inspiration for great works of art, little did they know – it was OMER every time! The travelers go back in time — twice into our past and once into our future. They will see OMER inspire two classical artists and a team-created artist from our future. The performance will include how the three works of art positively impact the world, a visual and audible effect that indicates when time travel is occurring, two re-creations of the classic works of art selected from a list, and a team-created work of art.
- Building and testing a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that will balance and support as much weight as possible. The structure must include sets of balsa pieces of predetermined sizes and quantities as listed in the problem. Some sets must be parts of the structure while others, if incorporated, will receive additional score – the more sets of pieces used, the higher the score! Teams will present a performance with a theme about using what’s available that incorporates weight-placement and assembling original team creations.
- Presenting a humorous performance about an unexpected superhero that encounters three different situations where it must save creativity in some way. The superhero will change appearance when it displays its superpowers and go back to blending in with society when not. The performance will also include a clumsy sidekick, a nemesis character, a choreographed battle, and a cliffhanger ending.
The five M-W teams competing are:
High School coached by Donna Wetzstein:
Alexi Berges, Orion Jaskowski, Kayla Komlani, Sara Mallory, Elyssia Rukaj, Angelique Vasquez
High School coached by Kaitlin Blumberg:
Daneyda Bermeo, Jada Centeno, Michael Donovan, Elena Kelbley, Alexis Muniz, Natalie Sirignano
Middle School coached by Joanne McInerney:
Jamie Calub, Colin Davidson, James Dawson, Fiona Leitner, Colin McHugh, Rohan Sonakya, Brian Whitfield
Middle School coached by Jessica Hutter:
Leanne Fernandes, Emma Filonow, Avlinn Jaskowski, Jack Kralik, Aayan Krishan, Amara Leitner, Julia McHugh
Central Valley Elementary School coached by Lauren Phillips:
Marisa Arone, Anushree Buragohain, Aveline Gaines, Shreya Girish, Jana Kralik, Nicole Ottavio, Lucy Silber
Mary Lou Cook, an American activist, teacher and artist sums it up perfectly in her quote: “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
Win or lose, all OMers agree that Odyssey is a super experience! We wish all five teams the best of luck! Come out and support the M-W teams!