LB Middle School Team Takes on State-Level Odyssey of the Mind Competition

The Long Beach Middle School Odyssey of the Mind Team (OM) competed in the New York State Odyssey of the Mind competition on April 8, 2017. This year’s team came in fourth place out of 19 teams, which earned them a shout-out at the award ceremony.

“This was a tremendous accomplishment and we are especially proud of this year’s team,” said coaches Christina Kile and Dayna Obidienzo.

Odyssey of the Mind teams at the middle school level are made up of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. This year’s Long Beach Middle School team was comprised of eighth grader Tyler Collinson and five sixth graders: Jordan Collinson, Keira Hult, Christopher Lehr, Matthew O’Connor and Ava Rand. The team chose to solve the problem entitled “To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger.” In this problem, a superhero must save “creativity” from a villain who is trying to eliminate it from the world.

The Middle School team said that “OM” has taught them to think outside of the box, be creative, practice teamwork, overcome fears, and get along with one another. They also said that the team must be committed to work countless hours brainstorming, writing scripts, creating original props, and making costumes for the competition. The coaches pointed out that there is also an administrative edge to the Middle School Odyssey of the Mind competition. The students must complete the paperwork entirely on their own that describes and supports the solution to their problem. Tyler Collinson guided her team through this time consuming process, dedicating many lunch periods to completing this task as she compiled the suggestions of her teammates.  

Ms. Kile and Ms. Obidienzo reported that as the team sat and waited for the results, they held their breath and crossed their fingers. When their fourth-place win was announced, they let out screams of excitement. Later, as the team reflected on their journey, the sixth-grade teammates exclaimed, “Let’s start working on next year's problem over the summer and let's have Tyler come back to be a student coach.”
“It is said that once the thrill of an Odyssey of the Mind tournament is experienced, it’s in your life forever,” the coaches expressed. “After all, Odyssey of the Mind is not just a journey you experience but it is a ‘way of life!’”