Odyssey of the Mind team dazzles at the State Championships!

Words by: Rachel Klaeren, Upper Division Science

On Saturday, February 26th, Academy at the Lakes sent two Upper Division teams to compete at the Gulf Coast Regional Odyssey of the Mind competition. The two teams competed in separate problems, Problem 2, a technical challenge, and Problem 4, a balsa wood build challenge. Both teams earned 1st place in their respective problems and division, advancing them to the State Competition.

On Saturday, March 12th, our teams competed in Orlando, FL, at the state level. Once again, the Technical Team, consisting of Allison Fox ’25, Audrey Gorski ’25, Geno Lee ’24, Henry Levy ’25, and Eugene Ross ’24, placed first in their problem and division, advancing them to the World Finals at Iowa State University. The Balsa Team, consisting of Yasser Hussain ’24, Aarav Katwala ’24, Vir Malhotra ’24, Savina Patel ’23, and Rohan Vemuri ’24, placed 2nd in their problem and division, also earning them a spot at the World Finals.  Congratulations and good luck!

Odyssey of the Mind is an academic and creative problem-solving competition, where teams of 5-7 students work for months to solve a multi-faceted long-term problem. Each problem requires students to write and star in an original 8-minute performance, every aspect of which, from costumes, to set pieces and scripts, must be student generated. Additionally, many problems incorporate a STEM challenge, such as building a vehicle, designing a device to accomplish set tasks, or building a balsa wood structure to meet specific demands. Throughout the competition, OMers (as the students are called) are asked to be as innovative as possible within the problem parameters. Once at competition, the team presents their solution to the long-term problem and competes in a spontaneous challenge. The spontaneous challenge consists of a never-before-seen problem, and the team must work together to respond in the moment, as creatively as possible.