Local Odyssey of the Mind teams head to states
Odyssey of the Mind teams from Lee County will compete at the state level competition in April at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Competitors work on a long-term problem throughout the school year and a short-term problem on the spot. They are also separated into one of five divisions based on age.
Topics for the long-term problems include Earth Trek, Teach Yer Creature, The Lost Labor of Heracles, Shock Waves, Superstition and Candy Factory.
The regional competition was hosted at Island Coast High School on Saturday and included 1,200 students of various ages ranging from elementary to those from Florida Gulf Coast University.
Amy Brey, a parent-coach of the team from Diplomat Middle, said students chose to organize an 8-minute skit involving a number of superstitions. It also had a technical aspect where the same prop had to be used in two scenes, but in a different way.
Diplomat Middle now has two teams and 14 students attending the state competition, but it needs to raise approximately $3,000 for travel and lodging costs.
“Diplomat Middle has two teams going to state,” she said. “We are having to raise a lot of money to go to state.”
Other schools in Cape Coral and Lee County will likely require financial assistance as they also send teams to state.
Debbie Stichter, director of Southwest Florida’s Sun Region, said Lee County has many schools advancing to the state competition.
“Even though Sun Region is Collier and Sarasota too, there are quite a few Lee County teams going,” she said.
All of the teams and divisions will be scored, Stichter said, except for the non-scoring division including kindergarten and second-grade students. These are Hector A. Cafferata Elementary and St. Andrew Catholic School.
“They are going to state, but not judged against each other,” she said.