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Brain power drives Odyssey competition Tier students display imagination, creativity

WAYNE HANSEN / Press & Sun-Bulletin

DICKINSON -- Who knew that you could travel around the world in eight minutes? Because that's what a group of Binghamton High School students did Saturday in a performance at the Odyssey of the Mind competition.

The Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services hosted the annual competition at which hundreds of students from kindergarten to high school dealt with hands-on and verbal problems and performed self-created skits timed by a panel of judges.

After hours of practice since October, the Binghamton High School Division III, Team B rehearsed its skit for the Around the World in Eight Minutes category, their final problem Saturday.

The most important thing was to remember their lines, said Kacee Mion, 14.

The judges would give them points based on style, creativity and collaboration, to name a few, Dominic Dimasicio, 14, said.

"All right guys, let's do a group hug," Mion said.

Mion was a little nervous prior to the performance. Her coach, Kaycee McHenry, tried to encourage her.

"You are so awesome," McHenry said. "Just pretend the judges aren't there."

The students had to visit three different locations around the world in eight minutes, before nine judges. One location was India, another Greenland and the third was a make-believe place the team named Pokeatoey.

Mitch McNerney, the timing judge, asked the team if it was ready.

"Begin," he said.

The students quickly assembled their props to set the scene for their plot.

Nick Mion, 16, played a pirate who visited a fortune teller in India to ask help for his parrot that wouldn't talk.

"Steal the queen's toenail and bring it back to me," said Leslie Cody, 15, the fortune teller.

The judges complimented the students on several aspects following their performance.

It was humorous and entertaining, said Cheryl White, mother of student Jennifer White.

Jennifer White, 15, has been a part of Odyssey of the Mind since she was in kindergarten.

"I think it's a really good experience. You spend time with friends and have fun ...," she said.

Her team finished third in the Around the World in Eight Minutes category.

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