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OOTM: Teams ready for state competition

Miranda L. Pennock 04/01/09
This Saturday 34 students from Skaneateles Central Schools will travel to Binghamton to compete in the New York State Odyssey of the Mind competition.

Local coordinator Kelley McQuiggan said in the past seven years that she has been directly involved in the program, Skaneateles have sent between four and eight teams to the state competition annually.

"Usually it is four to five teams," McQuiggan said. "Last year was an unusually high year. We sent eight teams."

As the five teams get ready for the state program, McQuiggan said they are allowed to make any improvements they wish to their solutions. But, most teams study their scores from the regional competition in order to see where improvements can be made and then work on those enhancements.

While fixing their solutions, the teams continue practicing with the hope of scoring higher than other teams in New York and going on to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

"When teams go to the New York state competition they compete against approximately 20 teams from all over New York state," McQuiggan said. "Our teams usually can be competitive at the state competition because our Region 11 is a strong region, so if you place first in Region 11 you need to have a solid solution. Since there are so many variables the day of competition, it is impossible to predict how teams will do at the state competition. The only thing that I do know is that I know that all of our teams will represent Skaneateles and Region 11 very well."

Skaneateles has been "very fortunate" to send teams to World Finals for the last four years, McQuiggan said.

"I wouldn't say it was common and or expected, but possible," she said.

The state competition is a one-day event. For the April 4 schedule, check out nysoma.org.

A synopsis of each problem students have chosen to solve can be found on the Odyssey of the Mind Web site, odysseyofthemind.com.

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