Three teams from Thomas County Central High School participated in the recent Odyssey of the Mind State Finals, with one advancing to World Finals. Approximately 116 teams competed in the event which took place on March 29 at Columbus State University.
With the exception of three schools in Savannah, TCCHS is the only team south of Atlanta to have achieved World Finals advancement, according to Coach Kimsey Hodge. At this level of competition, teams from all over the United States, as well as 25 countries from around the world will be competing.
“These students have worked so hard and have made me so proud to be their coach,” Hodge, who coaches TCCHS’s teams with Tammy Simmons said. “They amaze me with their creativity and ‘out-of-the box’ thinking. I’m proud of all of my teams and am honored to be taking a team to World Finals. Last year was the first year of Odyssey of the Mind here at Central and we had a team advance to World Finals, as well.”
The team that qualified for World Finals is the “The Driver’s Test” team made up of the following students: Alexis Bergozza (10th), Addison Frasch (11th), Bobby Hancock (9th), Mallorie Johnson (11th), Chelcie Nix (10th), Beth Sharpe (9th), and Terrance Smith (11th).
“There are many things to be excited about when going to World Finals: the competition, the hard work that you and your team have put into preparing for competition and even getting to see how other people use problem solving skills,” said Addison Frasch, team member. “However, the best part about World Finals is definitely going to be meeting people from all parts of the world.”
The team designed, built, and drove a vehicle that traveled a course where the student driver completed tasks in order to pass a “driver’s test,” according to the team’s information form. It created a theme of the “Scooby Doo Mystery Machine” for the presentation that incorporated the vehicle, a driver’s test, a student driver, and a talking GPS.
Team members worked together at length to solve a predefined problem –the LONG TERM problem - by writing a script, acting, creating the props, sets, and solutions with no outside help. They presented their solution to the problem at competition.
The other two teams who qualified for State Finals during regional competition at C.W. Davis Middle School in Flowery Branch were: “The Stackable Structure” (Balsa wood) featuring members Hailey Bryan, Aimee Blanton, Logan Leik, and Tiffany Mercer; and, “It’s How We Rule” (Classics problem) featuring members Katricia Fann, Sarah Buckley, Addison Frasch, Drucilla Thomas, and Melissa Horton.
“I have the best job and the greatest kids in the world to work with,” Hodge said. “Their dedication and creativity make the long hours I spend with them worth every bit of the effort and time it takes to coach such amazing young people.”
The Odyssey of the Mind World Finals will be held May 28-31 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
The team will be fundraising to help with expenses involved in competing at World Finals. Specific fundraisers have not been finalized yet, but donations are currently being accepted. Anyone wishing to donate may contact Kimsey Hodge at email@example.com.
OM member Maggie Martin says that Odyssey of the Mind is “…the place where you use old records to make dragon scales, where you form a team of people you barely know and become best friends, where win or lose, you smile because you’re so proud of what you’ve done. I love Odyssey because my life just wouldn’t be the same without it.”