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15 Yuma teams advance to state Odyssey

March 10, 2009 - 8:27 PM

Yuma County schools will send 15 teams to represent the Western Region of Arizona at the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament in April .

The 15 teams come from Sunrise Elementary, Ed Pastor Elementary, Woodard Junior High, Southwest Junior High, Sunrise Elementary, Amerischools, Rolle Elementary, Arizona Virtual Academy and Yuma Catholic High School.

These teams advanced to the state level after winning first and second place in various categories in competition with schools around western Arizona last weekend.

The Odyssey competitions are designed to cultivate students' creative problem-solving abilities in a competitive setting.

Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.

They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the United States and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

According to Odyssey of the Mind, a school or community group purchases a membership and forms a team of up to seven students. Each team then chooses one of five competitive problems to solve and competes in up to four divisions.

Sunrise won first place in Division 1 for Earth Trek, a competition that tasked teams with designing a vehicle to be tested in four different environments.

In Division 2, Ed Pastor students won first place while Woodard Junior High placed second.

Southwest Junior High won first place in Division 2 for Teach Yer Creature. Each team created a humorous performance using a mechanical creature that acts like a real animal and learns lessons.

Sunrise placed first and Amerischools second in Division 1 for the Lost Labors of Hercules. Teams were instructed to create an original performance about the ancient Greek hero and one of his 12 labors.

In Division 2, Southwest Junior High won second place, while a school from Salome, Ariz., won first.

Sunrise Elementary won first place for Division 1 for Shock Waves. Teams design and build a structure out of balsa wood and glue that will balance and support as much weight as possible while absorbing shockwaves.

In Division 2, Southwest Junior High won first place while Ed Pastor placed second.

Sunrise Elementary won first place yet again in Division 1 for Superstition. Teams were directed to create and present a performance that includes two documented superstitions including origin and history.

In Division 2, Rolle took first place while Southwest Junior High placed second.

In Division 3, Arizona Virtual Academy won first place while Yuma Catholic High School placed second.

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