| Neosho Daily News |
EN Quest students to take part in national competition

By Todd G. Higdon
Granby, Mo. -
On May 27, students from the Granby, Triway and East Newton High School will leave for Ames, Iowa, to compete in the world competition of Odyssey of the Mind.

Odyssey is a creative problem-solving program that expands the students' thinking skills. In order to get to this point, the 27 students participated in the state competition in Rolla recently.

"East Newton Quest Program had five teams entered in the competition," East Newton Gifted Coordinator and Teacher Livvia Seufert said.

Missouri has 14 Odyssey teams competing, five of which are from East Newton.

"We received three first place trophies and two second place trophies at the state level, which allows the students to move up to World's in Odyssey," said Seufert. "The students were entered in three different long-term problems. The Lost Labors of Heracles, Shock Waves and Superstitions were the problems the students chose to solve. The students also had to compete in the Spontaneous portion of the competition. In Spontaneous problems, the students will be given a problem to solve and be given only a few minutes to come up with a solution. No one in the group or even the coach knows what type of problem it will be."

Each student needs to raise $500 to attend the May 28-30 event. The students will return on May 31.

"We are planning to have a dinner and silent auction on May 8 at East Newton High School cafeteria," Seufert said. "We are also asking donations to be sent to the Quest Program at East Newton R-6 Schools, 22808 E. Hwy. 86, Granby, 64844."

Seufert said the competition will be more intense than state.

"The students will be competing at a much higher level with approximately 20 other countries," said Seufert. "Last year, there were 850 teams competing at the World level. The students will be interacting with students from other states and countries during their stay at Ames."

They will be staying in the dorms and activities such as pin trading between states and countries allows the students to interact with other cultures. Opening ceremonies will be broadcasted via the Internet on May 27.

"It is quite an experience for the students to gather with thousands of people in a very festive atmosphere," said the coordinator. "Representatives from each state and country walk in procession at the opening ceremonies similar to the Olympics. There is a world fest for the students to attend in the evenings, which features activities from other states and other countries. During the day, students will present their long-term problems on one day and their spontaneous problems will be scheduled for a different day. Props for their plays will be shipped and must be assembled when they arrive."

Currently, the students are working to improve their scripts, props and presentations for the long-term problems. They are also practicing spontaneous problems in the verbal/hands-on, and hands-on areas, as they will not know which type of problem will be assigned to them until they get in the spontaneous room for competition in Ames.

"I can't express my appreciation of these students and the amount of hard work and effort they have expanded in getting ready for the competition," Seufert said. "The students have worked days, evenings, Saturdays, and have called me at home about something they wanted to ask. They are serious and dedicated in being the best they can be."

The winners at World Odyssey will receive trophies and a lot of publicity.

"The real prize is the opportunity for these students to attend this exciting experience."

Want to help out?

What: A fundraiser for the East Newton Quest students

When: May 8, time to be announced

Details: The fundraiser will include dinner and a silent auction

Background: Each student needs to raise $500 each.

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