| Daily Press |
Heritage hosts Mind competition
The regional Odyssey tournament challenges students.

BY BRITTANY J. JACKSON/DAILY PRESS
March 18, 2007

NEWPORT NEWS -- Take the most talented students from about 80 schools in the region, mix in a dash of determination and a cup of creativity, and you have the 2007 Regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament.

The competition, now in its 25th year, presents students of all ages complex problems - including some technical and structural challenges - that can be solved only with creative solutions.

Among the teams competing at Heritage High School on Saturday was Poquoson Elementary School. Its task was to create an original play incorporating the theme "Around the world in eight minutes."

The team - seven players all clad in bright purple and gold tie-dyed shirts - ranged in age from 8 to 11. They had the challenge of designing the set, costumes, scripts and props without the help of adults and a budget of a mere $125.

The team began the demanding process in October, practicing every week for several months in preparation for Saturday's event.

"I get enough of girls on Mondays and Sundays - that's when we practice," said Curtis Braun, a 9-year-old third-grader and the only boy on Poquoson's team.

The team is under the direction of Robin Edwards, a second-year coach whose daughter, Abigail, is a member of the team. According to Edwards, keeping her team of energetic youngsters focused was her most difficult task.

"It's a lot of work," Edwards said, "but when you get to competition and you see the excitement, it makes it all worthwhile."

According to Kimberly Beckerdite, Odyssey's regional and tournament director, involvement with Odyssey teaches students lifelong skills.

The regional tournament's winners will go on to the Odyssey of the Mind State Finals on April 21 at Woodside High School.

State winners will compete at the world finals May 23 to 26 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.




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