North Fort Myer’s hybrid school, Classical Christian Academy, sent three teams to the Sun Region Odyssey of the Mind competition Saturday, February 28. CCA sent one middle school and two elementary teams. The middle school took second place in the regional competition and will progress to the state-level competition in Orlando, Fla., on April 11.
“CCA has a history of developing strong OM teams,” said Tabitha Dillehay, teacher and OM coach. “Each year when they start out, I think about how I wish I could give them hints at how I would solve the problem. In the end – every time – I’m blown away with how the students have used their creativity and teamwork to come up with their own ideas, designs and solutions – and they do such a great job. They amaze me.”
Each team gets to pick one of five long-term problems to solve. In addition, each team competes to solve a spontaneous problem the day of the competition. The students could be asked to solve any kind of task including a word problem, a mechanical challenge or a puzzle. The teams work to earn the most points possible with the spontaneous problem worth 100 points, and the long-term problem worth 250 points.
The middle school coach, Sarah Flower, reflected, “They have such amazing minds, ingenious creativity, diligent work ethic, positive spirits, and shining teamwork. It’s an honor to stand with them, learn from them and be called their coach.”
The middle school team chose the Run Away Train problem, which is a vehicle problem. The six students had all school year to design a car to perform a number of specific tasks, which they execute while performing a skit. CCA’s two elementary teams chose problems in different categories so they wouldn’t compete against each other. The “Experiencing Technical Difficulties” team excelled in their rubber band powered performance, while the “Silent Movie” team shined in a real-life depiction of the Candyland board game.
“Although two of the teams are not advancing this year, the experience of OM has taught them team building, encouragement, creativity – thinking out of the box – and seeking multiple solutions to a problems,” said Mrs. Shannon Schram, OM coach and teacher. “These skills are what employers seek and our teams are developing them now.”
The OM program is gaining popularity in the CCA student body. Several peer supporters came out to cheer for the team. Of the 16 members of this year’s team, 10 were new to the program. Already, additional new students are talking about forming teams for next school year. Ideally, CCA will have at least one team for each age division.
About Odyssey of the Mind 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 from about 25 other countries participate in the program. For more information, visit www.odysseyofthemind.com.
About Classical Christian Academy Classical Christian Academy is the premier hybrid school in Southwest Florida. CCA offers families an academically rigorous and Christ-centered K-12 education option that blends the best aspects of private and home schooling. Classical Christian Academy is a registered 501c(3) organization. For more information, visit www.discovercca.org and like CCA on www.facebook.com/DiscoverCCA.