| Stuttgart Daily Leader |
Stuttgart students compete this weekend

by Bill Shrum
Published: Friday, February 29, 2008 12:25 PM CST

Preparing to display their creative and problem-solving abilities with 24 other teams will be the fifth- through eighth-grade students at Meekins Middle School and Stuttgart Junior High School during the Odyssey of the Mind Competition at 9 a.m., Saturday at Stuttgart High School.

"The teams competing this year are from Central and Southern Arkansas," Sandie Ragland, coordinator of the gifted program K-12 for the Stuttgart Public School system, said. "The teams will be performing at different sites on the campus."

Ragland said each team will meet in their designated location and participate in the assigned creative, problem-solving activities chosen in advance for their group.

"This is an exciting time for the students, as well as the parents of these students," Ragland said. "Competing with other students in the area will also be exciting for the students."

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program for students in grades K-12 and college and the participating teams chose one of five long-term problems to solve for the competition.

"The teams are judged by the solutions they prepare for a long-term problem," Ragland said. "They are also judged on the style they use to enhance their long-term solution and a spontaneous problem they solve on the day of competition."

"The competition takes place in divisions that are based on the grade levels of the team members," Ragland sad. "The top four teams form each division at the regional competition will advance to the state competition."

There is no charge for admission, but the Stuttgart teams will have a concession stand in the high school cafeteria to raise money for their teams.

The state competition will be held Saturday, April 12 in Beebe at the Arkansas State University at Beebe campus.

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