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November 18, 2017
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Stillwater News

Odyssey of the Mind returns to Stillwater

Enrichment program enables students to creatively solve problems

Madison Ramnes with Odyssey of the Mind students
Odyssey of the Mind Coach and Elementary Teacher, Madison Ramnes, meets with students before school to practice for the March 9 competition.

Dec. 20, 2012 – Stillwater Elementary School students will once again have the opportunity to put their creativity to the test through Odyssey of the Mind.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international enrichment program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members use 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 levels.

The program returns to Stillwater after several years’ hiatus thanks to the commitment of school staff, the Stillwater PTA and other parent volunteers. Based on interest following the initial information meeting in November, Madison Ramnes talks to Odyssey of the Mind membersStillwater will host two teams comprised of students in grades 3-5.

“It’s really about guts,” said third grade teacher and Odyssey of the Mind Coach Madison Ramnes, describing what it takes to participate in Odyssey of the Mind. “There’s really no wrong solution. You just have to take a risk to solve the problem.”

Students must then have the courage to present their solution in front of hundreds of people during competition, added Ramnes.

Each week team members meet with Ramnes and Rachel Womble, the second coach and a parent volunteer, to practice. But coaches and parent volunteers cannot help Odyssey of the Mind members work on their long-term projectstudents solve the problems. They can only teach concepts such as creativity and teamwork.

Both teams must create a skit to showcase their answers. Some students build physical structures while others create costumes by hand. They’re even responsible for managing their own budget for props. Students must also practice brain teasers to get ready for the spontaneous problem-solving portion of the competition.

“I wanted to bring Odyssey of the Mind back to Stillwater because it’s another opportunity for students to showcase their abilities,” said Ramnes. “I am really proud of the students. We’re looking forward to showing everyone what we’re made of.”

The Stillwater teams will participate in the regional competition on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Queensbury Middle School.

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