| Stillwater NewsPress |
Odyssey continues for six Stillwater teams

The number of students participating in Odyssey of the Mind (OotM), a creative problem solving competition, has doubled each of the three years it has been offered in Stillwater. So it shouldn't be that surprising that after sending one team to World Finals last year, Stillwater has had six teams qualify for this year's OotM World Finals competition in Baltimore.

"We started out the year with 12 Stillwater teams, and it's thrilling to see half of those get the chance to represent Oklahoma at World Finals," said Pam Clower, the gifted and talented teacher at Westwood and Richmond Elementary and coordinator of OotM in Stillwater.

Parents have formed a Booster Club to raise funds not just to support the teams that qualified for World Finals this year, but also to put scholarships in place to aid teams that may qualify in future years.

Each year, OotM develops five competitive long-term problems. Teams around the world organize in the fall to solve one of the problems. The problems encourage mechanical ingenuity, artistry and performance skills.

Teams of up to seven students develop an eight-minute performance in which they present their solution. The hallmark of OotM is that the student teams must solve the problems with no outside assistance from adults. Adults can teach skills, such as sewing, carpentry or acting.

OotM holds competitions each year in United States and 25 other countries. Six teams from Stillwater qualified to represent Oklahoma at World Finals.

 • A team of third and fourth graders from Westwood Elementary placed first for building a vehicle that played sports while it met famous artists and architects from history.

 • A fifth grade team from Richmond Elementary placed second for building a vehicle that observed the creation of sports at different periods of time.

 • A third grade team from Richmond Elementary placed second for their theory that the dinosaurs went extinct because they were lactose intolerant.

 • An eighth grade team from Stillwater Junior High placed second for their theory that pink lemonade and a lack of public restrooms caused the dinosaur extinction.

 • A team of third, fourth and fifth graders from Westwood Elementary placed first for building a balsa wood structure that supported 32 pounds.

 • A team from Stillwater High School placed second for their skit that posted that Mother Earth's efforts to lose weight caused global warming and that a new look from a make-over squad would make everything right again.

The OotM Boosters have planned several events to raise funds for the world-finals-bound teams. A pancake dinner has also been scheduled for May 19 at Countryside Baptist Church. Silent auction items are needed for this event. Boosters are also soliciting donations and corporate sponsorships.

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