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Students set out on an Odyssey of the Mind

By LYDIA WHEELER

HUDSON FALLS -- The Argyle adventurers rediscovered the ice man and his tools, discovered the Hubble Space Telescope, made their audience laugh and sang a musical tune, all in eight minutes.

The four sixth-graders from Argyle were competing in Division II of the Discovered Treasures category at the annual regional Odyssey of the Mind competition at the Hudson Falls High School on Saturday afternoon.

The students were to create and present an original theatrical performance that includes the portrayal of

the discovery of two archaeological treasures, one

being a team-created vision

of the discovery of an actual historical treasure and the other being the team's depiction of a modern sculpture or structure that exists today, but is discovered in the future.

The students sign up in September and had until Saturday to put together the solution to their long-term problem, and then they perform before a panel of judges.

"We practiced every Sunday and occasionally Friday nights," said Veronica Castrio of the Argyle team.

"We're asked to sign up and pick a team. We all know

each other from school and at the end, we're family," she said.

More than 400 students, ranging from kindergartners to high schoolers, from 18

area school districts competed in the regional creativity competition on Saturday for a chance to move onto the state competition at Binghamton University on March 27.

Those who make it through state competition go onto the world finals, held this year at Michigan State University in May, said Caren Snell, regional director for Odyssey of the Mind, which is put on by the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES.

Students are given a long-term problem, which they prepare for and present to judges at the competition.

The problems range from creating an aircraft and completing a variety of flight plans to designing and building balsa wood columns that will balance and support as much weight as possible, to theatrical problem-solving performances.

The students are then given a spontaneous problem at the competition that they were not allowed to prepare for, which is also judged.

The competition, Snell said, promotes creative and critical-thinking skills, team building, collaboration and leadership skills.

Argyle team member Hunter Frost said he tried Odyssey of the Mind three years ago when he moved to the area.

Now in sixth grade, Frost is still signing up to compete.

"We just have a fun time doing it," he said.



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