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Odyssey of the Mind Teams Prepare for February Regional Competition


Riversprings Middle School hosts new Nature Coast Region on February 16


January 18, 2019


Over 70 Wakulla County students and 15 coaches are gearing up for Odyssey of the Mind Regional competition on Saturday, February 16.


Ten Wakulla County public school Odyssey of the Mind teams are busy putting the finishing touches on their presentations for the initial round of competition in this international creative problem-solving challenge.


Participating Wakulla schools include Crawfordville Elementary, Medart Elementary (fielding 3 teams), Riversink Elementary, Shadeville Elementary, Riversprings Middle, Wakulla Middle, and Wakulla High School (fielding two teams).


What is different this year is the location, a lot closer to home at Riversprings Middle School. RMS has taken on the work of hosting Florida’s newest region, the Nature Coast Region. 


There will be hundreds of students, coaches, and spectators attending from the new Nature Coast Region of Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.


For the previous 8 years, Wakulla teams had to travel before dawn over 170 miles to Crestview to compete in the Emerald Coast Region west of Wakulla. 


Notes Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “The Wakulla teams had already put in a day’s work just getting their students and their props to Crestview.  I applaud the RMS coaches and all the Wakulla coaches who jumped through a lot of hoops to petition for and create a whole new region closer to home to help their students be at their best for competition.” 


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 very intricate challenges.


These problems include technical, mechanical, communication, structural, engineering, and performance aspects.  Teamwork is a key element to success.


Teams have been designing, building, writing and practicing since the beginning of this school year.


Odyssey of the Mind participation is for students in grades kindergarten through college, with scholarships offered at the higher levels.


Qualifying teams at Regionals then go on to State competition in Orlando at the University of Central Florida on April 6.  Last year, 6 of the 9 competing Wakulla teams qualified for State competition. 


State winners go directly to the World Finals where over 800 teams from 33 U.S. states and 15 countries will be competing at Michigan State University May 22-25. Two years ago, the first Wakulla team qualified for World Finals.


Students work in teams of seven all school year to solve one of five “Long Term Problems”, and present their solution at the Regional competition. Student teams also have limited time to solve a “Spontaneous Problem”, one they have never seen before.