IRSD shows off its Odyssey of the Mind skills once again
The Indian River School District is thriving once again in creativity. Three district teams won at the Odyssey of the Mind State Final Tournament on March 31, continuing the IR legacy in OM.
“I think it’s wonderful that we’ve got three teams going again,” said coach Lisa Forney. “They worked very, very, very hard, as they always do. They put in a lot of time and effort to make the problem solution as good and creative as possible. It was very well earned.”
A team coached by Catina Goff and Lisa Forney took first place in the “To Be or Not To Be” category for Division II (middle school), while a team coached by Forney and Robin Hall won first place in the “Odyssey Angels” category for Division II. Forney also coached a Division III (high school) team to a first place finish in the “Odyssey Angels” category.
In addition, a district team coached by Sharon Sorrentino and Eileen Coyner finished third in the “Odyssey Angels” competition for Division I (elementary school).
The Goff/Forney team in Division II, “To Be or Not to Be,” earned their second perfect score of 350 points, showing proficiency in multiple categories. The team included students from Lord Baltimore Elementary School, Selbyville Middle School and Southern Delaware School of the Arts. Team members were Matthew Parsons, Cameron Goff, Madison McCabe, Delaney Smith, Mackenzie Webb, Claire Loftus and Ana Natalia Elling.
Cameron Goff also won a special OMER’s Award for Odyssey spirit. The day before competition, the middle-school student’s fingers were smashed badly in a door. Goff proceeded to get emergency orthopedic surgery in Wilmington that afternoon. He was released Friday night, just in time to prepare for competition the next morning. Goff still participated in the performance and spontaneous competitions. His attitude earned him the OMER’s Award.
The Hall/Forney team in Division II “Odyssey Angels” consisted of students from Selbyville Middle School, Georgetown Middle School and Southern Delaware School of the Arts. Team members were Cameron Hall, Carly Collins, Brooke Clowser, Helen Davis, Jared Hudson, Milly Morales-Perez and June Lupinetti.
The Forney team that won first place in the “Odyssey Angels” category for Division III included students from Indian River and Sussex Central high schools. Team members were Logan Robinson, Macy Lyons, Jessica Gude, Payton Saxton, Farris Hauck, Randy Short and Jack Saxton.
Odyssey of the Mind was created in 1979 and encourages creative solutions to open-ended problems. Millions of students from kindergarten to college participate worldwide. Competitions have long-term and spontaneous problems.
In the long-term problem, teams of seven students prepare for months to write, direct and build an eight-minute performance that creatively answers a prompt, with no outside assistance from coaches or parents. Working with a budget of $125, the students get creative with costumes, scenery and machinery, all of which is team-created.
Spontaneous problems are just several minutes long, with no prior preparation. Teams may have to answer a question or creatively build a structure with household materials.
The “To Be or Not to Be” competition required teams to put a musical-theater spin on one of William Shakespeare’s most famous lines. Hamlet, the title character, ponders the question and discovers the easy way out isn’t always the correct choice. Students were also asked to incorporate a character that portrayed Hamlet’s conscience.
The “Odyssey Angels” category required students to create and present a performance in which a group of students traveled through one or more team-created places where they encountered negative situations. The students changed what they found, turning them into positive situations.
The first-place teams will travel to the University of Iowa for the OM World Finals from May 23 to May 26.
“It’s a really good experience,” said Forney, who added that the students are really excited to meet and trade pins with other OMers from around the world.
Indian River School District students have won 38 Odyssey of the Mind state titles since 2000.