A team from Painted Sky Elementary School in Oro Valley has qualified to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind 2011 World finals in College Park, Maryland. The third and fourth graders qualified by excelling in regional and state competitions held earlier this year.
Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program, where students use imagination, science, and teamwork. The Painted Sky team undertook a challenge to invent and build a complicated machine to perform a task that could otherwise be done by a simple existing item, in this case, a paper punch. The students then devised a skit and a way to “sell” their invention, culminating in the assembly and demonstration of their machine. Competitions also include a “spontaneous” component, where the team is given a problem to solve “on the spot”.
Team members going to the World competition include third graders Riley Mix, Hannah Ford, Zane Ayers, Brady August, and Ethan August, and fourth grader Chloe Lisowski.
“To have the opportunity to go to this level of competition during our first year is amazing. The kids are thrilled, and we are extremely grateful to the school for their support” said Ryan Ayers, one of the team’s coaches.
Team member Hannah Ford said “We worked really hard as a team and it paid off. We can’t wait to compete against other teams from all across the world.”
The team has some fundraisers planned to help pay for their trip to Maryland. Tax credit donations made to Painted Sky Elementary School,12620 N. Woodburne Ave., and directed to Odyssey of the Mind would greatly help with travel and lodging expenses for the team. More information on the program can be found at www.odysseyofthemind.com.