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Four Odyssey of the Minds Teams Advance to State Competition
Four teams of Keystone Oaks students will advance to the state level Odyssey of the Mind competition after placing during the regional tournament at Moon Area Middle & High Schools on Saturday, March 3.

Two teams from Dormont Elementary and one team each from Keystone Oaks Middle School and Keystone Oaks High School will compete at Pocono Mountain East High School on April 7.

Sixty-eight Keystone Oaks students in grades K-9 recently participated in the regional Odyssey of the Mind Competition, competing against 85 teams from local school districts.

From Dormont Elementary, Iron Roses, took 1st place in the Animal House Problem Division 1 (3-5 grade). The team was coached by parent volunteer Geoffrey Dobson and included team members Riley Dobson, Jillian Stakich, Lydia Deimel, Natasha Brooke, Lucy Brooke, Kaybre Donahue, and Brielle Michel. 

Also from Dormont Elementary, Super Cool Creators, took 3rd place in the Classics Problem Division (3-5 grade). Team members Shane Fehl, Jasper Dalessandri, Jonah Hostutler, William McGee, Haley McCaffrey, and Michela Robbins were coached by parent volunteers Brandie Fehl and Shannon McGee. 

The Curb, representing Keystone Oaks Middle School, came in 1st place for the Animal House Problem Division 2 (6-8 grade). The team was coached by parent volunteers Katia Tate and Geoff Dobson and included members Gavin Fehl, Calvin Tate, Max Fullard, Anthony Paladino, and Jacob Orlofske.

Representing Keystone Oaks High School, OMG, came in 1st place for the Animal House Problem Division 3 (9-12 grade). Team members Robin Cesario, Abby Lyda, Marlana Howard, Amelia Folkmire, Molly Cicco, Emma Finucan, and Kyla Covato were coached by parent volunteer Beth Finucan. 

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. 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.

The program is run by parent volunteers. Student teams meet bi-weekly beginning in September to practice and prepare for the performances and competition.

Congratulations to the students who participated this year! And, thank you to the volunteers who make this program a possibility for KO students!

These were the challenges that Keystone Oaks students had to solve this year:

Triathlon Travels
Description: On your mark…get set…go! In this problem, teams will ride on and drive original vehicles in an Odyssey-style triathlon. They will try to score in “curling,” hit the right targets when “jousting,” and “run track” by navigating a course in two directions. Between these events, the team will entertain the audience and the vehicle will change appearance. All of the action will take place in a team-created performance that features the vehicles’ triathlon travels, a commentator, and a coach.

Classics.... Mockumentary! Seriously?
There are often two sides to the same story. In this problem, characters don’t always agree as they recount the classic story where they appeared. The team will select a classic from a list and present different characters in a humorous documentary-style performance where details are added, denied, exaggerated, and disputed. There will be interviews, behind-the-scenes “clips,” and voice-overs that take the audience through the story and help present the events as they “really” took place. Whose side will you be on?

Animal House
Over the years, Odyssey of the Mind teams have designed structures that changed into many unbelievable shapes and sizes that balanced and held as much weight as possible. This year, teams will turn their balsa wood structures into animals! Since animals need to eat, they must be fed. The structure will have its appearance transformed and explained during an original performance. During the performance, the structure must hold the team-created food while it supports weights.

A Stellar Hangout
In the outreaches of the universe, there is an Intergalactic Hangout where all sorts of creatures from different worlds stop, eat, refuel, and relax. Teams will create a humorous performance centered on this science fiction hangout that includes original creatures, foods, and a search for space treasure. There will also be a worker character, entertainment, and a futuristic map at the hangout.

Primary:  We're Cookin' Now
Creativity heats up as teams create their own cooking show where a chef gives an original cooking lesson to a special guest. The show takes place from a creative kitchen where balsa wood is used to support a cookbook, a bowl, and an object of the team’s choosing. A special guest will visit and learn to cook from the chef by using team-created representations of food. Performances will also include a name for the show, theme music, and a story about the meal they are cooking.