Students at Randall Middle School in Lithia are good at solving problems. Really good. Members of their Odyssey of the Mind team beat out other teams in the county and the state to make it to the World Finals held May 24-27 at Michigan State University. Even though they were not able to attend the competition, they are still celebrating this accomplishment as a team and as a school community.
“We’re very proud of them,” said principal Claire Mawhinney. “When we watched them recreate their competition performance for School Board Member Melissa Snively and County Commissioner Stacy White, we were floored by their intellect and creativity. They will continue to meet and compete as they go on through middle school.”
Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment. Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential. Students can have fun while they learn.
The team at Randall is composed of sixth graders -- and they all previously competed together at FishHawk Creek Elementary School. The team is run by parent volunteers.
Only 833 teams made it to World Finals this year and only 32 of them are from Florida.
Some of their challenges involved programming a robot to perform human tasks. Odyssey problems have challenged students to design mechanical dinosaurs, invent new factory machinery, build working vehicles, and much more. Since 1978, problems have challenged students to go beyond conventional thinking and incorporate creative problem solving in learning.