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Odyssey of the Mind Team Ranks Among World's Best

Seventh graders in flamingo hats pose with their trophy after winning third place in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.
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  • Middle School

Corbett Prep seventh graders turned the story of inventor Elisha Gray into an original steampunk musical that won their team international honors last month.

The Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team competed at World Finals at Iowa State University on Memorial Day weekend, bringing home a third-place trophy in the classics problem category. The accomplishment wrapped up an outstanding season for Corbett Prep’s OM program, just four years old.

Corbett Prep hosted five OM teams this school year in elementary and middle school. Four of those teams were eligible for competition and all placed in the top 5 in their divisions at the state contest, with the seventh-grade team moving on to Worlds.

Odyssey of the Mind offers a series of open-ended problems for students to tackle, working in teams to develop solutions that they present to judges in creative ways. During competitions, teams also apply their quick thinking to solve a spontaneous problem.

Benefits of OM

The OM process empowers students to think independently, make decisions as a team, support one another and follow through on their plans. Parent coaches are present to supervise, but the ideas, decision-making and execution all comes from the kids. If the team needs a set for a performance, the students must figure out how to build a set and what to use. If they need costumes, team members sew or construct them. An adult can show students how to use construction tools, but the students have to independently design, build and revise their vehicles and structures.

The student-driven approach provides a great opportunity for team members to tap into their own talents, whether they are technical wizards, engineering geniuses or star actors. Corbett Prep’s seventh grade team even wrote and sang original compositions for their historical musical. It’s a true STEAM experience with solutions often touching on each area of the educational approach – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

Read more about how Odyssey of the Mind helps students develop as creative thinkers in the May 2022 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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