Local team captures second in regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament | SierraSun.com

Local team captures second in regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament

Special to the Sun
Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.comOdyssey of the Mind participants from Incline Village, Nev., Tahoe City and Truckee celebrate at the regional tournament.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; Team Beret from North Tahoe Elementary school and its Ooh motional vehicle captured second place in the Capital Gold Regional tournament, earning a spot in the California State Tournament. The team consisted of Nell Shorin and Zoe Klenke from Incline Village, Nev. and Robert Nordby, Julia Saxe and Hunter Hoffman from Tahoe City and Tommy Pullen from Truckee.

This is the groupand#8217;s second year competing in the regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament through the Tahoe Truckee Unified School district under the guidance of coaches Leslie Saxe from Tahoe Vista and Tom Klenke from Incline Village, Nev.

Comprised solely of fourth graders from North Tahoeand#8217;s Spanish Immersion Program, the team took second place in Division I (for grades third-fifth) of the Ooh Motional Vehicle problem. The challenge was to design and construct a vehicle that could transport one of their members, while navigating a course using two different forms of power and demonstrating a different emotion on each leg of the course. Their solution was to build a dog using an assemblage of items salvaged from local thrift stores including an old-fashioned sewing table coupled with the power of humans, a step peddle and an electric drill.

To showcase their creation, the team drafted a script featuring a tour through an art gallery, where the artwork inspired different emotions. The project is entirely child-led and must be completed for less than $145. The teamand#8217;s combined score also included points earned for its performance in solving a spontaneous problem within a limited amount of time.

While Team Beret was extraordinarily proud of its victory, Odyssey of the Mind also celebrates the journey. Over the course of the project, the children learned skills such drilling, using a band saw, welding, grinding screws, and constructing an axle. They then applied these skills themselves with their coaches limited to a supervisory role. Odyssey teams learn a lot about team work, compromise, communication and budgeting. Over the course of their work, they realize there are often multiple ways to solve a problem, and that sometimes the process is more important than the end result.

This marks the third year that teams from the Tahoe Truckee School district have participated in The Capital Gold Regional Tournament. This year the district fielded 10 teams from its elementary, middle and high schools, thanks in part to generous grants from the Queen of Hearts and Truckee Rotary Club. Four of the teams advanced to the state tournament. Watch for more news.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Odyssey of the Mind nurtures creativity, an often overlooked element in the growth and development of students. Their efforts are rewarded more for how they apply their knowledge, skills and talents and#8212; not for coming up with the right answer.