Last Saturday, East Central PA Odyssey of the Mind returned to live competition for the first time since 2019, and Solanco had a strong showing. Three Solanco teams will be traveling to the State Tournament at Lock Haven University in April.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition that “teaches students how to develop and use their natural creativity to become problem-solvers. OM brings the classroom to life as students apply what they learn and combine it with their interests and passions to solve unique open-ended problems. OM also emphasizes teamwork, budgeting, time management, public speaking, and so much more. This program is designed to help students grow as individual learners, grow as team members, and to reach their full potential.”
The elementary Odyssey of the Mind team, comprised of Ava Denver, Wyatt Kershner, Mikaela Kreider, AJ Miller (from Bart), Brette Dawley, Travis Henry (Clermont), and Anthony Vincent (Providence), took first place in their technical problem “Odyssey ReOMvention”. This is the first time a Solanco elementary level team has ever done this and the first time they have ever qualified for the State tournament!
The high school vehicle team, including seniors Nicole Arrowsmith, Lexi Heisler, Katie Jensen, and juniors Wyatt Festerman, Charlie Golden, Renee Moran and Grace Pursel, took second place. Their performance, a loving parody of Dora the Explorer, featured two self-propelled vehicles that completed four difficult tasks.
Senior Dennis Kretzing, junior Emma Kline, sophomores Autumn Butler and Aidan Todd, and freshmen Chris George, Lexi Groff, and Gracie Hartigan won the drama division with an impressive score of 349.65/350 points.This is highest regional score Solanco has ever earned.
Each team will have to opportunity to secure a trip to the World Finals at Iowa State University in May. Solanco has been participating in Odyssey of the Mind since 2010; in that time, two teams have made it to the World Finals.