Asheville Homeschool Co-op is proud to be sending a team to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals competition May 22 to 25th at Michigan State University. The middle school team – Clay Houston, Solomon Love, Annabelle Crowe, Connor Murphy, Madison Smith, Ren Flaum, and Lilly Mills – placed first in the state in the Pet Project problem at the April 6 NC Odyssey of the Mind competition.
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. At the World Finals competition in May, students from different cultures and widely varying economic backgrounds will prove that creativity is universal.
The Asheville Homeschool Co-op team’s problem required them to build three cars, each with a different propulsion system, to carry a pet in nine pieces that were then assembled into an animal that could do a trick. As if this weren’t enough, the team created a set that transported their audience to Candyland and an original song that had even the judges wiping tears of laughter from their eyes. Early on, they ruled out non-creative solutions such as ramps and remote-controlled cars, instead building a mousetrap car, a crossbow with a trigger system built of K’nex, and a Rube Goldberg device to propel their cars. Their outstanding solution demonstrated the power of teamwork and the many different facets of creativity.
The team has only a few weeks to raise the $8000 needed to get them to World Finals, where they will compete against other teams from around the country and over 25 countries around the world. Community members wishing to contribute to the team’s fundraising campaign can contribute through the program’s website www.ahcom.weebly.com. Farm to Home Milk will also donate the proceeds from their booth at the Big Love Festival on Sunday, May 5 to the team. Team members will be on hand in costume as Candyland characters to sell the milk and other items.