Odyssey of the Mind is an international program that teaches students how to develop and use their natural creativity to become problem-solvers. The program emphasizes teamwork, budgeting, time management, public speaking, and so much more.
This weekend, seven Veeder Elementary students attended the first round competition, the Region 7 tournament at Shenendehowa Central School District where they competed against other area elementary schools.
Teams got to choose one out of five long problems to solve. For three months they have been working on their solution,” said Veeder Librarian Ms. Pendergast. “Their chosen problem was #5 and it was called ‘The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!’ They had to create an original skit, characters, costumes, and props with no outside assistance.”
As part of the competition, the students also had to compete in a spontaneous challenge that they have no prior knowledge of.
“This really requires thinking on their feet and quick problem-solving skills,” Pendergast added. “All of this builds the team members’ independence, teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking. The students did amazing.”
With a first-place win under their belt, Veeder is eligible to move on to the state tournament scheduled for mid-April at the fairgrounds in Syracuse. At least five of the seven members need to be able to attend in order to participate.
“The students really want to, it just depends on schedules,” said Pendergast. “If we are able to move on to states, the team will spend the next month making small changes to their performance based on the scoring feedback they received this past weekend.”
Veeder Elementary has had many successful Odyssey of the Mind teams over the years but took a hiatus due to COVID.
“This was my first year as a coach to the students and it was their first year participating as well. They are an incredibly smart, sweet, and kind group of students and we are all very proud of them.”