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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Wood Elementary's teams qualify for Odyssey of Mind world competition

  • Both of Wood Elementary’s Odyssey of the Mind teams have taken first place in their divisions at the state level and qualified for world competition that will be held May 28-June 1 at the University of Iowa.
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  • Both of Wood Elementary’s Odyssey of the Mind teams have taken first place in their divisions at the state level and qualified for world competition that will be held May 28-June 1 at the University of Iowa.  
    At the state competition held at Missouri University of Science and Technology, the Not-So-Haunted Team was tasked with creating a pop-up “Not-So-Haunted House” that required four different special effects, three of which required application of mechanical engineering principles. This team is sponsored by Beth Humphrey and Candice West. Lincoln Collins is the parent coach.  The not-so-scary playwrites/artists/engineers are: 5th grader Makayla Aydelotte; 4th graders Angel Hoff, Austin Puckett, and Whisper Weeks; and 3rd grader Madison Lee.
    This year’s Whoville Team built a 4’ by 6’ vehicle that required two different propulsion systems and had to perform four different tasks while on the move. The team is sponsored by Candice West and Beth Humphrey. Valerie and John Ludwikowsi are the parent coaches. The masterminds who engineered, built, and decorated the cakemobile as well as creating a hilarious 8-minute Whoville Plunger Festival play to feature their vehicle are: 5th graders Kennidee Lee and Cheyenne Puckett; 4th graders Garrett Hart, Chryslyn Joseph, and Justin Ludwikowski; and 3rd grader Kaylah Brown.
    Both teams were very fortunate to have engineer advisor coaches Josh Lix and Brian Jenner from Ft. Leonard Wood’s Engineering and Construction Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and additional support from teachers Barb Neal and Lisa Thornburg.
    Last year was the first year a Waynesville school participated in this competition, thanks to the I-STEM-21 grant. This year an I-STEM-21 grant again funded the two teams to compete at the state level. Both teams tackled problems that were deeply imbedded with engineering, took 1st place in their divisions and received invitations to the Odyssey of the Mind World Competition. 
    Fundraising is under way for the teams to go to the world competition. If you are interested in donating funds for the competition, contact Beth Humphrey at 573-842-3517 or via email at bhumphrey@waynesville.k12.mo.us.
    Wood students in grades 3-5 may sign up to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind in August on a first-come basis. In addition to a teacher sponsor/coach, each team has at least one parent coach, and this year the two engineers advisor coaches volunteered to help the teams. The adults work together to guide the students as they acquire knowledge to make decisions, teach them skills, such as using power tools and applying engineering principles to create their product, and help them become a cohesive team. However, all decisions, execution of plans, and creation of a product are made entirely by the team members, alone. A budget of $145 for everything from building supplies to costumes requires each team to be very creative with their solutions.
    Page 2 of 2 - Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and 25 other countries participate in the program. 

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