When Scotia-Glenville enrichment specialist teacher Maria Maynard helped bring Odyssey of the Mind to the district last year, she was not sure how it would be received.
Eighteen students took part in Odyssey last year, and now, with close to 90 students in the program this school year, Maynard said she thinks it is really catching on.
The process is a wonderful way for kids to explore, to think differently and to solve problems with their peers. We are so pleased with the turnout and hope to be recognized for how much the program has grown just from last year, said Maynard.
Each year, the Odyssey of the Mind Association produces six long-term problems for children in third through 12th grade to solve. The students are broken up into teams to work out the complex problems and eventually present their solutions to an audience at the regional competition, hosted at Mohonasen Central School District.
Preparation for the competition has three parts: long-term problem solving, spontaneous problem solving and style.
Teams are judged on how well and creatively they work together.
Maynard said the spontaneous competition was held a couple of weeks ago, leading up to the main competition on March 1. She said 12 of the 15 teams took part in the event, which included pizza, fun and learning.
"Every seven minutes I blew a soccer horn and teams rotated, just as if at the competition, quietly and efficiently, it was amazing, and by the end of the night, each team was able to practice 11 problems," said Maynard.
Maynard said that she could not do it without the help of Director of Curriculum Joe Kavanaugh, the parents, and even a volunteer grandfather who has taken one of the teams under his wing. She said that the PTA and local businesses have also helped to offset the cost of taking part in the competition.