Monday, March 6, 2017

Odyssey of the Mind

Colsen, Miles and 5 other kids have comprised Arborbrook's Odyssey of the Mind team this year, and I was the rather overwhelmed coach.  For the last 6 months have met weekly to practice exercises in creativity, teamwork and problem solving, and it was pretty cool to see how they all grew so much in these areas.

The last 2 months or so have become much more intense as we focused on the March 4th deadline.  Their "problem" to solve was to build a structure out of balsa wood that held as much weight as possible, while being within height and weight constraints, and also not weighing more than 15 grams (which, it turns out, is VERY light).    In addition, they had to come up with an 8-minute performance that focused on the theme of "precision," and included making an additional structure out of recycled materials that was an enlarged representation of their balsa wood structure.  AND, they also had to make a third object out of whatever they wanted, all of which tied into the same story.  It was a little complicated to say the least!

And, they did it!  We had several weekend practices and our garage, and several rooms in the house, were littered with pieces of balsa wood for weeks and in the end they pulled it off.

This is what the floor of the boys' bedroom has
looked like for longer than I care to remember
Their presentation went really well, and they all had so much fun!

And after the scores were totaled at the end of the day, including the additional "Spontaneous problem" component, it turned out the team WON!!  It felt like quite the underdog story, since our team was very young compared to others, and completely inexperienced.

So now they head to the State competition!  Back to the balsa wood constructing for a few more weeks...

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