Back in September, students from MBMS, Pacific, Pennekamp, and Robinson formed Odyssey of the Mind teams. For six months, students worked on creating solutions to different long term problems. Embracing the foundational precept of Odyssey of the Mind, “No Outside Assistance”, teams envisioned, brainstormed and began creating their solutions. With no outside help, students drafted, revised and edited scripts; designed, built and improved vehicles, mechanical props and moving costume elements; created, troubleshot, revamped and let their artistic abilities shine on sets and backdrops; designed and hand-made elaborate costumes and props; grappled with engineering and physics as they designing balsa wood structures that could hold weight, vehicles that were propelled in different ways, and devices to catch and pick up objects. In addition to their work on their long term problem solutions, teams also prepared and practiced spontaneous problem solving, where they were presented with a task or question, and had to either accomplish the task or provide creative responses to the question on the spot.
After six months of hard work, teams got to showcase their accomplishments and the product of their teamwork at the Los Angeles Basin Regional Tournament. Several Manhattan Beach teams earned awards and advanced to the State Championships, including two teams from Pennekamp (Problem 1, vehicle, and Problem 4, balsa wood), one from Pacific (Problem 1, vehicle) and the team from MBMS (taking first place in Problem 5, performance).
Manhattan Beach’s advancing Odyssey of the Mind teams did not rest, jumping right back to work, improving their solutions and problem solving skills in preparation for the State Championships. The State Championships were held in April at University of California at Riverside. Top-scoring teams from across the state presented their solutions. Again, Manhattan Beach teams enjoyed a great deal of success. Pacific’s team (Problem 1, vehicle), and Pennekamp’s team (Problem 4, balsa wood) both earned third place at the State Championships! In addition, MBMS’s team earned second place, and will now advance to the World Final Championships!
The Odyssey of the Mind World Finals are truly an international celebration of creativity and teamwork. Over 850 teams attend the four-day competition, held at Iowa State University in Ames, including teams from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan, as well as top-scoring teams from nearly every state in America. Advancing to the World Final Championships is truly a testament to the creativity, dedication, teamwork and problem solving skills of the MBMS team! The MBMS team members are: Emma Custer, Madison Jordan, Gretchen Lundberg, Tess MacFarlane, Alexandra Runnels and Sofia Varieschi.