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Minerva Central School's Odyssey teams compete in Hudson Falls

HUDSONFALLS-Students from area schools tried to address complicated problems with complicated methods at the Odyssey of the Mind regional competition last weekend.

Minerva Central School (MCS) sent two teams to the competition along with schools throughout the Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Hamilton, Essex BOCES region, all vying for a spot at the finals in Binghamton.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international program that is based on the premise that creative team-building and problem-solving among students from kindergarten through college will serve to solve an assortment of problems.

The Division II team, in creative bee costumes, worked on a problem, which required them to design, build and run vehicles that use mousetraps as their source of power. Division III team members opted to build a contraption that served to complete an actual task using odd items.

For four months, MCS students worked hard on their problem solutions and performances, creating all their props, scripts, and costumes. Sue Montgomery Corey, the coach for the two teams, helped facilitate the team participants, but the students came up with all the creative ideas. During the competition, each team had a maximum of eight minutes to do their presentation before a panel of Odyssey of the Mind judges.

At the competition, teams also were given timed, on-the-spot spontaneous problems to solve quickly and completely on their own - problems that really made the students think "on their feet".

The two teams did very well, with the younger division II team coming away with third place in their bracket. The division III team hit the jackpot with a first place trophy. This team will be traveling to Binghamton March 25 for the statewide Odyssey of the Mind competition.

Corey said she was very pleased with the showing of her teams.

"We had a great run, and the teams worked hard - it's going to be a terrific experience in Binghamton," she said.

MCS Division II team member Meghan Dunkley received a special "Omer" award for the great effort she made in keeping her team together, along with her excellent attitude and ability to work toward a goal.

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