First Place for All Three Odyssey of the Mind Teams

Allen-Stevenson had three teams participate in the Odyssey of the Mind problem-solving competition on Saturday, March 2. 

Lisa Anderson, who coaches the Odyssey of the Mind teams, said "Odyssey of the Mind gives students the opportunity to solve problems creatively while developing skills that will help them thrive in an innovative world."
The teams, which all began working together in September, started by choosing from five different problem options, working to meet the different requirements for their particular problem. While each team was responsible for building all props, scenery, costumes, and writing a script, they were also required to stay within an assigned budget and solve numerous problems to meet many designated parameters of the chosen problem. In addition to solving their chosen problem, the teams had to compete in a spontaneous problem-solving activity. The boys received points based on how well they worked together as a team and how they solved the chosen challenge, which could either be a verbal or hands-on problem.

The fifth and sixth grade team chose the problem “Opposites Distract”. Teams solving this problem were required to create and present a humorous performance about a sneaky character that lures teams into silly arguments. The arguments were used in different dramatic styles using attention-getting special effects. In the end, the groups learned that they had been intentionally distracted and would catch the sneaky character while learning a lesson in how disagreements can distract groups from seeing the bigger picture. This team built their own sailboat which was able to sail thanks to a long skateboard, manpower, and some plungers to propel them forward.

MEMBERS: RYDER RASCH, EVERETT ROYAL, DECHEN DIGGS, ADITYA PANDIT, LORENZO BRIGODE, JULIAN KASEF, ANDREW VAN DYKE, PAUL BOORADY

The fifth grade team participated in the problem “Hide in Plain Sight”. The team was to take cues from nature in this problem where they created a team-made mechanical creature that camouflages itself in plain sight of the audience. The fifth grade boys took an industrial-size trash can, and created a mechanical moving creature! The biggest challenge was that the creature had to change its appearance three times. The boys used space as a theme and ended their eight-minute performance challenge when the creature revealed itself to be something completely different.

MEMBERS: ANDREW LEBEAU TOUNG, XANDER GOODMAN, SEBASTIAN IRASQUIN-PETIT, MARAT REZBAEV, WESLEY CHI, ZACHARY STEINBERG, RHYS KELLER

The fourth and fifth grade team participated in the problem “OMer to the Rescue, Again”. Two team members rode and assembled a vehicle that fit into a suitcase. At certain points in their performance, they were to disassemble and reassemble the vehicle. The boys incorporated a space theme in which they had to recover a lost key to a city and find the city mayor, which ended in a parade.

MEMBERS: DAYA SINGH, NICHOLAS HENRIKSSON, NICHOLAS FONG, JOHN MERMEL, TREY PATRICK, TYLER PINNIGER, RAFA RAZA

While creating original props, mechanical pieces, costumes, and scripts, team members learned to work together. Engineering original products can be challenging at times; this involves boys having to give additional time to research and communicate in order to achieve a finished product. There were times when team members struggled with solutions to their chosen problems, and they learned that even when problem solving became challenging it was part of a process. The boys were in such a growth mindset as they worked on their projects, helping them to deal with setbacks and successes.
 
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.