Two Stamford Public Schools Teams, Competing Against 135 Teams from Across Connecticut,
Advance to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals
Five Stamford Teams Earned Medals at the Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind Tournament
STAMFORD, CT, March 28, 2019 – Imagine trying to build an original team-made mechanical creature that hides in plain sight, or designing a complex mechanical solution to turn on a light switch, or creating and presenting a humorous performance about a Sneaky Character trying to take control of something by distracting others? These are the complex problems that more than 100 Stamford students took on as part of the 2019 Connecticut State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament which was held on March 16th. The competition emphasizes creativity, Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) and teamwork. The Odyssey of the Mind program is a part of The Stamford Public Education Foundation’s (SPEF) enrichment programming.
Five Stamford teams comprising 35 students and representing six Stamford Public Schools finished in the top three of their problem and division during the awards ceremony. The all-girls team from The Academy of Information, Technology and Engineering (AITE) took first place with the highest scores of the day while students from Toquam Elementary School earned second place. Both teams advance to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, which will be held at Michigan State University in May, where they will compete against more than 800 teams from around the globe. According to the organization, the 40th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals is the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide.
“Odyssey is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students who incorporate the sciences and arts into their solutions,” said SPS Associate Superintendent for School Development Olympia Della Flora, “The program creates a hybrid learning environment that enhances student interest in STEM disciplines, while teaching public speaking, team dynamics and leadership. I am so proud that we have five teams who ranked in the top three and two teams who will represent Stamford in the World competition.”
14 Stamford teams competed against 135 teams from across the state. Teams from Davenport Ridge Elementary, Springdale Elementary, Scofield Magnet and Turn of River each took home the third place medals in their respective problems and divisions. Two Stamford teams, Springdale Elementary and AITE, were awarded the Jill Riggles Award for the highest score in the Spontaneous portion of the competition.
In order to offset the cost of travel to the World Finals in Michigan, the two advancing teams will now embark on a major fundraising effort. Community members can support Stamford students or learn more by visiting the program website, www.spefct.org/odyssey-of-the-mind.
The Stamford teams who are eligible to compete at the World Finals are:
Toquam Elementary School, Silver Medal, World Finalist
Disagreements can distract groups from seeing the bigger picture. The team created a humorous performance about a sneaky character that distracted others while trying to take control of the situation.
AITE, Gold Medal, World Finalist, Jill Riggles Award
The team transported the audience to the magical world of Candyland, where they met royalty, a mermaid, a witch and a mischievous bear. The team created a 4’x5’ Rube Goldberg machine to light up the set at the conclusion of their performance.
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Stamford Public Schools (SPS) comprises more than 16,000 students, over 1,500 professionals, and 21 schools, including seven magnet schools and three International Baccalaureate sites. SPS has a total of 13 elementary schools, five middle schools and three high schools. The mission of the Stamford Public Schools is to provide an education that cultivates productive habits of mind, body and heart in every student.
Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) Founded in 1996, the mission of the Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) is to deliver educational programs and resources that elevate student, educator, and parent success by bridging the gap between needs in the Stamford Public Schools and resources in our community. The Foundation strives to enable each and every student in the Stamford Public Schools to graduate high school and enter college, career training, or fulltime employment ready to succeed. For further information, visit www.spefct.org.
Odyssey of the Mind (OofM) is the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide. Teams of five to seven students meet weekly for more than six months to develop solutions to one of five long-term problems in categories such as constructing a vehicle, creating a new take on a classic, building a balsa wood structure, and solving a mechanical dilemma. The solution is presented in the form of an eight-minute performance at the state tournament.
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS: A complete list of competition scores is available at www.ctom.org