| Citizen-Times.com |
Students vie for Odyssey title

by Andre A. Rodriguez, ARODRIGUEZ@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM
published March 2, 2007 12:15 am

ARDEN -- Students from across WNC will descend on Western Carolina University on Saturday for the annual Odyssey of the Mind event.

About 360 students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be demonstrating their creativity and teamwork trying to solve problems.

Among Saturday's competitors will be a team of world champions from Valley Springs Middle School. The seven-member team hopes its creative skit and ingenuity when it comes to building lightweight balsa wood structures capable of holding nearly 1,000 pounds can lead it to another world championship.

Team members don't feel as if their world finals experience makes them a shoo-in over other teams.

"It's like a completely different problem every year, so you just have to start fresh every year," said eighth-grader Esteban Socarras, 14.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition that promotes creative thinking, problem-solving skills and teamwork. WCU introduced the competition to Western North Carolina schools in 1982 and has hosted state or regional tournaments ever since.

Competition at WCU's Ramsey Regional Activity Center will get under way at 8:30 a.m. An awards ceremony will be about 2:30 p.m. at the Ramsey Center.




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