By Joanna Gentile
After only two short months of hard work and determination, the Plainview-Old Bethpage Odyssey of the Mind team came home First Place winners from the Regional Level Tournament.
This versatile and creative group of 8th graders had been working hard to make winning this rigorous competition a reality. After coming in first place at the Regional competition at the Rosemary Kennedy Center in Wantagh on March 2, the team will move on to compete in the New York State Tournament.
The state tournament will be held in Binghamton on March 23. The POB Middle School team plans on heading up there bringing the competition their all.
This feat was especially challenging for the team because we had a very late start this year. Not being able to start until December had set the team three months behind some other schools on Long Island. However, despite that, competition day was truly an enjoyable experience for each team member and their families.
As their Coach, I am truly proud of the accomplishment this team has made being able to rise above any conflict due to lack of time and bring an intense level of competition to the tournament.
Although the details of the project are kept a secret, our team completed a project that included demonstrating talent, intelligence, and creativity on many different levels. The team needed to construct vehicles that would run via their own energy system: no easy task might I add.
They also had to show their talents in many various ways including building and painting scenery, making costumes, acting out a creative skit, tap dancing, and singing. Then, for the Spontaneous aspect of the competition, the team needed to answer a series of verbal questions demonstrating “quick on their feet” creativity – a strength for our team.
Each member of the team brings such a level of dedication and aptitude to the group. The team would not function adequately not having even one of our members. The combination of each of their unique personalities makes for some fun, too! Since the team started in December, they have been quickly, but intensely working to complete their project with enough time to practice and perfect it.
If the team places first or second in Binghamton at the state tournament, it will be off to Michigan for the World Finals.
Editor's Note: Joanna Gentile, POBMS Teacher and Odyssey of the Mind Coach.