Shadeville Team Riversink Team
Seven Wakulla County schools’ Odyssey of the Mind teams placed first or second at regional competition in February which qualified them to compete at the State level.
Riversink Elementary, Shadeville Elementary, Riversprings Middle Team B, Wakulla Middle’s two teams, and Wakulla High’s two teams advanced to the State competition held on April 9, 2016 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Wakulla High School’s two teams, both coached by WHS math teacher Nicholas Weaver, placed the highest of all the Wakulla teams as they competed against other high schools across Florida.
“I am extremely proud of the two teams. Just to think, that only five years ago, the first Odyssey team was created at Riversink Elementary and now Wakulla has placed two teams in the top four at the state level. This is an amazing accomplishment, and one the students and coaches throughout Wakulla should be proud of,” stated Weaver.
Wakulla High School Team A chose the Structure category of designing, building and testing a structure made only of balsa wood and glue that balanced and supported as much weight as possible. They came in fourth place out of 13 teams.
Wakulla High’s Team A included Dylan Franck, Genesis Knight, Devin Lehrmann, Dalton McCulley, Carlos Mendoza, Nick Samlal, and Daniel Sloan.
Wakulla High School Team B chose the Classics category where they had to create and present an original performance about a fable gone “viral” throughout the community and beyond and show how wrong conclusions can be corrected. They tied for fourth place out of 18 entries.
Noted Weaver, “The judges were amazed with the creativity and engineering of the set. The set was designed to move and change as if it was a Rubik’s Cube.”
Wakulla High’s Team B was made up of Giselle Almanzor, Virginia Appleby, Kaylie Cain, Makenna Callaghan, Nathan Cushard, Shawna Gray, and Celestia Walker.
Riversprings Middle School Team B came in seventh out of 20 teams in the middle school category of Structure, also designing, building and testing a structure made only of balsa wood and glue that balanced and supported as much weight as possible.
Riversprings Team B consisted of Bailee Bendeck, Mackenzie Crockett, Gabe Dutton, Jayven Hearns, Zoie Hill, Xander Johns, and Brittney Raley. Coaches were associate deans Megan Crombie and Stan Ward.
Said Crombie, “The judges gave positive comments on their teamwork and ability to improvise when their structure started to crack. They were entertained by the team’s device, a chain reaction of a giant coin rolling into a piggy bank then dropping weights on buttons to make ‘jackpot’ or ‘bankrupt’ sound effects, and said they hope to see the team again next year.”
Riversink Elementary tied for seventh place out of 20 teams in the elementary Structure category where they also had to design, build and test a structure made only of balsa wood and glue that balanced and supported as much weight as possible.
The Riversink team consisted of Chase Morgan, Legion Taylor, Ben Vaughn, Hallie McClintock, Johnathan DeProspero, Presley Jones, and Taylor Thorne. Coaches were teachers Katie Hart, Melissa Martin, and Katrina Roddenberry.
Roddenberry said judges described the required skit that accompanied the structure as a “creative interpretation” and “highly entertaining”.
Shadeville Elementary chose the elementary Classics category where they had to create and present an original performance about a fable gone “viral” throughout the community and beyond and show how wrong conclusions can be corrected. They placed 14th out of 16 teams.
Shadeville’s team included Hannah Vossler, Keira Tuten, Haley Perry, Dean Daniels, Austin Brown, Rosalie Fountain, and Mahala McDonald. Their coach was teacher Amy Seidler.
Wakulla Middle School Team A chose the middle school Mechanical/Vehicle category where they had to build, ride on, and drive a no-cycle, recycling vehicle. They had to pick up discarded items, adapt them, and then deliver them to places to be reused without using peddling for propulsion. They placed 11th out of 17 teams.
Wakulla Middle’s Team A consisted of Raul Wickham, Travis Morgan, Victoria Dichio, Lily Stolk, Tyler Saulter, Abigail Hatfield, and Emma Lloyd. Their coach was teacher Mallory Harrison.
Noted Harrison, “The judges said that they were very impressed that ALL team members were first year performers.”
Wakulla Middle Team B chose the middle school Structure category, also designing, building and testing a structure made only of balsa wood and glue that balanced and supported as much weight as possible. They placed 13th out of 20 teams.
Wakulla Middle’s Team B was made up of Hayden Whitfield, Matthew Neet, Dominiqua Ivey, Andrew Buchleitner, Erik Chason, Tristan Silcox, and Keira Cushard. Their coach was teacher Tanya Shivers.
Odyssey of the Mind is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1978 by Industrial Design professor Dr. Sam Micklus to encourage students to “think outside the box” in finding solutions to real-world problems they may encounter in the workforce and in their lives.
This annual international competition of thousands of teams has limitations on money that can be spent on materials and restricts coaches and parents from solving the problems for their students. All brainstorming, building, writing, sewing, and painting must be done by student teams of no more than seven members.
All the teams worked on solutions to their Long-Term Problem for months after school under the supervision of their coaches. Many of the problems incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills, with NASA usually sponsoring one of the five problems each year.
This year, Florida hosted the biggest number of entries in Odyssey competitions held in the United States and around the world in 16 different countries. Although no Wakulla teams advanced to the World Finals as representatives of the United States in international competition, they competed extremely well and took home ideas from teams that did advance.
Stated Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “They represented Wakulla well and I am proud of the teams who put so much effort into this creative problem-solving competition. The coaches and parents who made this a reality for our students are also to be commended for their support.”
Riversprings Middle Wakulla Middle