The fifth grade OM team from Marshwood Great Works School competed in the World Championship of the 2019 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals held on the Michigan State University in East Lansing Campus May 21-25th. It was their 1st year competing internationally. These 11 year olds didn’t just solve problems, but they learned life lessons through the event that showcased different teams from around the world. The team included: Connor Grogg, Saharra Emmons, Brevan Lavin, Sabine D’Aran and Zooey LaFlamme. Zooey commented that, “OM is a place for kids to express themselves and have fun.”
Teams are judged on creativity and risk-taking. Their coaches can’t guide them and tell them what to do, but they ensure they’re safe while completing their project. The student members wrote the skit, built their sets out of recycled materials and designed and created their costumes. Thousands of teams from all over the world chose the same problem, but each solution and performance are completely different.
They also participated in the spontaneous portion of the competition by generating solutions to a problem they had not seen before.
Connor commented, “ OM doesn’t just stand for Odyssey of the Mind, it can also stand for Others Matter because it is about working with others and teamwork. My favorite part of going to Worlds is that you have lots of freedom to see and do different things.” There were 890 teams there to meet and compete. The team competed in their division of problem 1, otherwise known as Omer to the Rescue Again
There are three aspects to the team’s competition.
Long-term: teams work to solve a problem over a nine month span.
Spontaneous: teams are given a problem on the spot and must solve it within a given timeframe in front the judges. It is especially fun at Worlds because you get sprayed with silly string and confetti when you leave!!
Style: an elaboration of their long-term solution.
“My proudest moment is to watch that moment where they say, ‘Okay this isn’t right.’ I watch them have panic for a short time and then fix it, or at least move on,” said Team Coach Bethany Grogg. They are a great team together.
This trip was an eye opening experience for these students, as they were able to meet kids from around the world through pin trading and working the Maine table at the creativity fair. They enjoyed staying on the MSU campus and especially the fantastic closing ceremonies with a light show, party and amusement park rides.
Overall – it was an amazing opportunity to problem solve and meet students from around the world.