Four teams from Martinsville City Schools will travel to Leesburg, VA in April to compete against students from across the Commonwealth at the State Odyssey of the Mind (OotM) Tournament.
The teams, three from Martinsville Middle School and one from Patrick Henry Elementary School, advanced to the state competition after placing first in their categories during the Piedmont Regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament in Rocky Mount, VA on March 17.
“OotM is a creative problem-solving STEM after-school program for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade,” explained MCPS Coordinator of STEM, Math, and Science Jill Collins. “We had six elementary teams and three middle school teams this year participating in Odyssey’s adventurous experience by learning teamwork, budgeting, building, public speaking, and so much more!”
Odyssey of the Mind challenges participants to work as a team to find original solutions to open-ended problems. Teams choose from a selection of long-term problems, each with its own requirements, time limit, and budget and create a performance, complete with props, costumes, and a script, that meets those requirements.
In addition to the long-term problem, which they have months to work on and rehearse, teams also must solve a spontaneous problem, which tests a team’s ability to think on their feet. In a spontaneous session, a team is presented with a verbal and/or hands-on problem which they have never seen before and have just a few minutes to solve. Some problems require a team to present multiple creative solutions.
Teams from city schools have competed in the state competition every year since 2016. Last year, two teams from Patrick Henry Elementary School competed in the World Finals, where one team placed third for their division in their category.
Teams that competed at this year’s regional OotM tournament are:
Martinsville Middle School
The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!! (First place, advancing to state tournament); Coach: Greg Hackenberg, Niema Merritt, Sarah Green, Veronica Smith Noah Wright, Cristofer Santiago, Nykira Johnson.
Pirates and the Treasure (First place, advancing to state tournament); Coach: Jessica Clervoi, Betty Sifuentes, Zaina Talley, Isabella Hurd, Viet Van Vo.
Because iCan (First place, advancing to state tournament); Coach: Kevin Paitsel, Leeayla Hairston, Ty’Layiah Dillard, Kaden Paitsel, Mason Cassell, William Wall, Lily Wall.
Patrick Henry Elementary School
Pirates and the Treasure (First place, advancing to state tournament); Coach: Elizabeth Lynch, Nina Giles, Jewel Martin, Maya Williams, Katie Wall, Kyla Steward, Jade Holland-Dallas, Zyriah Bouldin.
The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!! (Second place); Coach: Erica Crockett, Arielle Mitchell, Remmington Crockett, Dillion Wilson, Josiah Law, J’Cyere Moorman, Bently Williamson, Carter Cole.
Dinos on Parade! (non-competitive); Coach: Judy McDonald, Khamille Tatum, Paris Turner, Gabriella Gravely, Za’Mari Witcher, Amreen Narula, Espen Troncoso, Sebastian LaPrade.
Albert Harris Elementary
The Walls of Troy (Third place); Coach: Wenn Harold, Freddy Munoz, Mariah Mose, Makiya Walton, Keiana Hairston, Jasmin Nalasco, Haley Weaver, Layce Everhart.
Where’s the Structure? (Second place); Coach: Tammy Allen, Miriam Carter, Alan Carrillo Tamayo, Yahya Rodriguez, Aria Lewis, Michele Yanes Videa, Kyndall Gravely, Victor Domninguez-Machuca.
Dinos on Parade! (non-competitive); Coach: Jasmine Hall, Lennette Floyd, Jayveon Lewis, Aaden Schmidt, Timothy Giles, Elijah Woody, Jermyn Akers.