In the 2013-14 school year, VFMS PTO awarded a Golden Apple Grant to a team of four VMFS students and two New Eagle Elementary students to help fund the cost of participating in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, from May 27 through June 1, 2014.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem solving competition that students participate in throughout the school year. Students compete in a “Long Term Problem” by writing, staging and performing an 8-minute skit that responds to a set of literary and technical/mechanical requirements. The team also competes in a “Spontaneous Problem,” on tournament day in which they are presented a challenge such as building the tallest possible structure with given materials and given approximately 2 to 10 minutes to solve it.
The team of VFMS and New Eagle students qualified to compete in the Odyssey World Finals by placing first in the Pennsylvania East Central Regional tournament and second in the Pennsylvania state tournament. They were faced with the challenge of raising approximately $10,000 in expenses associated with the trip. They applied for and received a Golden Apple Grant from the VFMS PTO to help defray the costs.
At the Odyssey World Finals, the team met and competed with students from across the globe. The team was paired with a “Buddy Team” from Shanghai, China, with whom they shared a floor in their Iowa State University dormitory. The team competed against teams from Poland, South Korea, Singapore, China, Mexico, Indonesia and across the United States. The team tied for 15th out of 62 teams in their age division.
The pictures in the photo gallery show the team throughout their yearlong Odyssey.