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Wakulla Teams Qualify for State Odyssey of the Mind Competition


March 9, 2018



Six Wakulla County Odyssey of the Mind school teams qualified for State competition with their scores from the Emerald Coast Regional competition in Crestview, Florida on March 3, 2018. 


Teams from Crawfordville Elementary, Medart Elementary, Shadeville Elementary, Wakulla Middle and Wakulla High (two teams) now advance to State competition on April 14 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  


These six Wakulla Odyssey teams beat out teams from public, private, magnet, charter, and home schools in the Emerald Coast Region spanning from Leon and Wakulla Counties west across Florida’s panhandle to Pensacola in Escambia County.


Each team had to score a certain number of points from the “Long Term Problem” they have been working on all year, plus score points from a “Spontaneous Problem” that they were handed for the first time to solve at the competition. 


Teams chose one of five Long Term Problems. While the five categories of Vehicle, Technical, Classics, Structure, and Performance stay the same each year, the scenarios for each category change each year.


Crawfordville Elementary had a first place finish in their division, qualifying them for State competition.


Coached by teachers Heather Hatfield and Kirsten Brazier, CES Odyssey participants are Cole Randolph, Emma Larson, Ellie Hazen, Kelsey Sanders, Abigail Lee, Sydney Baker and Sam Bruce.


CES chose the Long Term Problem category of Performance.  The scenario takes place in the outreaches of the universe, where there is an Intergalactic Hangout. There all sorts of creatures from different worlds socialize. The CES team created a humorous performance centered on this science fiction hangout that included original creatures, foods, and a search for space treasure.


Medart Elementary’s Intermediate team (Grades 3-5) also scored first place in their division.


Coached by teachers Melissa Jackman and Sandra Whaley, Medart Intermediate team members are Isabella Ayotte, Fletcher Brown, Alexis Green, Brooklynn Green, Kyrin Hand, Logan Hand, and Skyler Harrell.


Medart chose the Vehicle Long Term Problem where they designed, rode on and drove original vehicles in an Odyssey-style triathlon.


Shadeville Elementary’s Intermediate team (Grades 3-5) came in second place in their division, but scored enough points to qualify for State competition.

Coached by teacher Kerry Adams, SES team members are Raena Taylor, Emil Bendeck, Kendall Coleman, Brody Beam, Sophie Stalvey, Colt Giddens, and Emily Zak.

Shadeville chose the Classics Long Term Problem which involved creating a “Mockumentary”. The team presented different characters from a classic in a humorous documentary-style performance where details were added, denied, exaggerated, and disputed.


Wakulla Middle School‘s team came in first place in their division.


Coached by teacher Katrina Roddenberry, team members are Abbi Hatfield, Tristan Silcox, Chase Morgan, Dawn Moody, Peter Arbogast, Matthew Ayotte, and Amara Cotroneo.


WMS picked the Performance category for their Long Term Problem.  The scenario is the same as Crawfordville Elementary’s of an Intergalactic Hangout, but more depth and complexity are expected from the older students as they create a humorous performance centered on the science fiction hangout that includes a search for space treasure with a futuristic map.


Wakulla High School fielded two teams coached by teacher Morgan Jackson, with help from teachers Wendy McGuire and Holly Harden.  


Coming in first place in their division, WHS Team 1 members are Nathan Cushard, Zoie Hill, Jake Greene, Russell Fleming, Abigail Gray, Ally Harden, and Jay Jacob. 


Team 1 chose the Vehicle Long Term Problem where they designed, rode on, and drove original vehicles in an Odyssey-style triathlon. They scored points in curling, hitting the right targets when jousting, and running track by navigating a course in two directions.


WHS Team 2 took the Performance Long Term Problem and also scored first place in their division.


Team 2 includes Giselle Almanzor, Keira Cushard, Makenna Roddenberry, Celestia Walker, Travis Morgan, and Makenna Callaghan.


The Performance category has the same scenario as do Crawfordville Elementary and Wakulla Middle of an Intergalactic Hangout, but even more depth and complexity are expected from the older students.


Teams who qualify at State advance directly to the World Finals as representatives of the United States in international competition against teams from over 25 countries such as China, Japan, Australia and Germany and over 40 U.S. states. 


Odyssey of the Mind World Finals will be held May 23-26 at Iowa State University.


Ten total Wakulla teams representing every public school in the Wakulla district competed at Regionals on March 3.


Participants were Crawfordville Elementary, Medart Elementary with two teams, Riversink Elementary, Shadeville Elementary with two teams, Wakulla Middle, Riversprings Middle, and Wakulla High School also fielding two teams. 


Medart and Shadeville each had a Primary team (grades k-2). Primary teams cannot qualify for state, “But it is great practice, fun and creative problem-solving for our youngest students,” says Medart Principal Stan Ward.


Both Ward and Shadeville Principal Nick Weaver took Odyssey teams to State competition in recent years as coaches, and one of Weaver’s teams competed at the World Finals last year.


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 creative solutions to problems that may include technical, mechanical, communication, structural, and performance aspects. 


All brainstorming, building, writing, sewing, and painting must be done by student teams. In addition, teamwork is a key element to success.


There are five age group divisions:  Primary (kindergarten-grade 2); Elementary; Middle School; High School; and a college division that awards scholarships.


Says Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “Odyssey of the Mind is one of many ways students can learn to think outside the box, and also enjoy teamwork and problem-solving along the way.  We wish our teams good luck at State competition on April 14.”