For the second year in a row, Rocky Hill will send a team to the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament being held at Bristol Eastern High School in Bristol, Connecticut, but this time the competition is for real. Teams who finish in the top two positions earn a right to represent the State of Connecticut at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals held at the end of May at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Last year, a team from West Hill School competed in the Primary Division, which is the introduction to the program. For the first time, the team from West Hill will be competing in Division 1, against some stiff competition from around the state.
Odyssey of the Mind is a hands-on, problem solving team of students who develop creative thinking skills, public speaking, and the ability to work as a team while creating their solution to the given problem. The challenge this year was to create a structure made from only balsa wood and glue that will be tested by placing weights on it. The structure must be eight inches tall, weigh no more than 18 grams, cannot have any continuous vertical columns and must be engineered in at least three components.
While the structure is being tested, the team must perform an 8 minute skit. The team wrote their play which includes a song and dance, designed and created costumes for their characters, as well as engineered a background that represents four different sets. Students must complete all aspects of the program without "Outside Assistance" or help from parents, siblings, or teachers. Only the six members of the team are allowed to contribute ideas and create aspects of the performance and structure that will be used.
Teams also compete in spontaneous, which challenges students to create a solution on the spot, with only a few minutes to think. This could include building a bridge using clay, pasta, straws and a few pieces of paper or designing a course to keep a ball rolling as long as possible.
The team will compete on Saturday, March 29th at 11:45 am at Bristol Eastern. The West Hill School team is comprised of Audrey Grant, Jasmine Ly, Gracie Oszurek, Gabrielle LaFave, Xander Eigo, and Kathryn Drumm.