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Cape schools place at Odyssey of Mind

By Staff | Sep 30, 2009

Seven Lee County schools were recognized at the end of September by the Lee County School Board for their outstanding performance at the Florida State Odyssey of the Mind competition.
Two Cape Coral schools came in first at the state competition, hosted at the University of Central Florida in April, and traveled to Iowa State University for the world finals in May.
Diplomat Middle School came in fifth place and Cape Elementary in 13th place at the world competition’s “The Lost Labor of Heracles” section. Overall, 800 schools competed at the event in Iowa.
“They did very well, they were really close,” said Teresa Cato, a parent coach for the Odyssey of the Mind program at Cape Elementary.
The team at Cape Elementary has been competing for many years, she said. Cato has been a coach for three years, and the team has been involved in local and state competitions.
Along the way there have been some changes in the team as students change schools or decide not to be on the team anymore.
“Some of the kids have been together for maybe two years,” she said. “It has been changing a little bit.”
According to Cato, the last academic year was the first time Cape Elementary had moved on to the world competition.
“It was a great experience,” she said. “They want to go again.”
The costs of traveling to Iowa were daunting, said Cato, and the school is searching for a new faculty sponsor for the team.
The Odyssey of the Mind program is a creative, problem-solving competition where students are broken down into one of five divisions based on age.
Each team is given a choice of five different topics — Earth Trek, Teach Yer Creature, The Lost Labor of Heracles, Shockwaves and Superstitions — where they complete long-term problems at their school and spontaneous problems at the competition.