STAMFORD, Conn. -- A group of Stamford students from Stillmeadow School will compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals beginning Wednesday, May 28, at Iowa State University.
The Magic Mint team is composed of third- and fourth-graders. Coach Kirsten Stops’ team is Devon Cavaliere, Ella Cognetti, Braden Rubin, Gavin Stops, Connor Tasik, Olivia Cognetti and Aryan Hassija. The competition runs through Saturday, May 31.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.
They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.
The Stillmeadow Students took on a problem called “Drivers Test.” Teams designed, built and drove a vehicle that travels a course where a student driver attempts to complete tasks in order to pass a driver’s test. The vehicle travels using one propulsion system and then travels in reverse using a different propulsion system. The vehicle encounters a directional signal and has a Global Positioning System that talks to the driver. The team created a theme for the presentation that incorporates the vehicle, a driver’s test, a student and the talking GPS. The students met weekly after school and practiced their skit while solving the problem or task. All the props used were designed and built by these kids from mostly recycled products. On March 29 in Bristol, the Magic Mint team competed in the Connecticut competition and won first place.
A team from Westover School in Stamford also finished first in its division, and a team from Hart finished second. A team with students from Scofield, Turn of River and King also won its division and earned the right to compete in the World Finals. All of the Stamford teams were supported by the Stamford Youth Foundation. Over 800 teams, with students from third grade through college, will compete in the 35th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. The competition emphasizes creativity and teamwork and has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide.