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Odyssey of the Mind Competition Challenges Students to Solve Problems Creatively
Odyssey of the Mind Competition Challenges Students to Solve Problems CreativelyForty-seven Keystone Oaks students in grades K-8 recently participated in the local Odyssey of the Mind competition at Moon Area Middle/High Schools. Four teams of students from grades 3-8 competed. More than 100 teams competed in various problems and divisions, with KO teams placing 3rd, 4th and 6th (two teams) in their divisions.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Teams of students apply their creativity to solve a wide-range of problems, from building mechanical devices to presenting interpretations of literary classics, as they compete with teams from other schools.

Keystone Oaks students had to solve three problems during this year’s competition:
  • No Cycle Recycle – Students had to design, build and drive a vehicle that traveled between two team-created ecosystems to process items. The vehicle had to travel without pedaling and had to make stops to pick up discarded items from one ecosystem and then adapt and deliver them to the other ecosystem where they were repurposed. 
  • Furs, Feathers, Fins, and Friends – Students were challenged to show problem-solving and teamwork from the point of view of different animals. Students had to create and present an original humorous performance showing three animals’ point of view while showing emotions and solving a problem that threatened the survival of all animals. The performance had to feature an original song and dance. 
  • Something Fishy – Students were challenged to develop three technical methods for catching fish by creating and presenting an original performance that included a fisher character that worked from a pier area to make catches. 
The Odyssey of the Mind program was revitalized at Keystone Oaks during the 2014-2015 school year. The program is run by parent volunteers. Student teams meet bi-weekly beginning in September to practice and prepare for the performances and competition. Participating in Odyssey of the Mind has numerous benefits, including developing team-building skills, finding solutions to real-world problems, and utilizing the creative thinking process.

Congratulations to the students who participated this year! And, thank you to the volunteers who make this program a possibility for KO students! The program will start again in the fall; anyone interested in participating can reach out to Geoff Dobson via e-mail – geoffdobson@gmail.com.
Keystone Oaks School District  |  1000 Kelton Avenue  |  Pittsburgh, PA 15216-1984  |  Phone: 412-571-6000  |  District Fax: 412-571-6006 Aiken Fax: 412-571-6164  |  Dormont Fax: 412-571-6151  |  Myrtle Fax: 412-571-6051  |  Middle School Fax: 412-571-6092  |  High School Fax: 412-571-6043
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