Words by Brad Shellgren
For the second year in a row, Academy’s Odyssey of the Mind team has placed 4th at the World Finals. After winning the state championship, the team headed to Lansing, Michigan for the World Finals (May 24 – May 27). In front of a packed Breslin Center at Michigan State University, the Academy at the Lakes Technical Team performed at the highest of levels. With more than 600 teams from around the world participating, the competition was intense, but the Academy students proved worthy.
The Technical Team was made up of Allison Fox ’25, Audrey Gorski ’25, Geno Lee ’24, Henry Levy ’25, Benjamin Harrison ‘25 and Eugene Ross ’24. Academy at the Lakes is extremely proud of the creativity, problem-solving, and dedication these students displayed throughout the year in making our Odyssey of the Mind teams so successful! A special thanks goes out to parent-coaches Suzanne Meiners-Levy and Theresa Gorski for their time and dedication. A thank you also goes out to Rachel Klaeren for serving as school coordinator.
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.