Team Mayhem, the Odyssey of the Mind team comprised of 4th and 5th grade students from Tashua Elementary School, Middlebrooks Elementary School and Jane Ryan Elementary School finished first place overall in their division and received a perfect score in the Spontaneous portion of the competition, at the 2016 Connecticut State Finals which took place April 2, at Bristol Eastern High School.
The team will now represent Connecticut at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, a four-day competition held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa on May 25-29.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program whose mission is to provide creative problem-solving opportunities for students of all ages. Tasked with solving open-ended problems, students develop creative thinking skills that can be applied to real-life situations.
Team Mayhem, consisting of Jackson Marsh, Alexandra Sullivan, Michael Citarella, Cole Galla, Luca Santilli, Sara Kocinsky and Katie Levine, were required to choose one of five “long-term” problems as the major focus of their competition. Opting for, “Fur, Feather & Friends,” the team created and presented an original, humorous performance from the point of view of three animals that embody different emotions – the joyous narwhal, the frustrated dwarf shark and the sad-to-be-flightless penguin – who work together to solve a series of problems.
Their solutions helped others, each other and solved a problem that threatened the survival of all animals. Among many required elements, the performance included an original song and dance and mystery door which caused the characters to disagree about what lay on the other side.
All of this was presented within an 8-minute time limit.
The team is excited to be representing their home state the upcoming World Finals. Modeled after the Olympics, the World Finals includes an opening ceremony celebrating the representatives from approximately 35 states and 15 countries worldwide, and includes competitions and a variety of creative activities for the teams and coaches, many provided by leading scientific and research organizations such as NASA.
Team coaches and parents are busy making arrangements for the 1,200 mile “Odyssey” to Ames. Fund-raising efforts are underway to help defray the nearly $12,000 that will be necessary to fund travel and expenses related to the four day competition. Contributions are welcome and greatly appreciated. Visit the Team Mayhem Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/g2y3cs38 for details. You can also send your support through the mail, c/o Jamie Sullivan, 65 Old Tree Farm Lane, Trumbull, CT 06611.