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Students at Lyme Central qualify for world Odyssey of the Mind Competition

By: Brian Dwyer
JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- "It's really cool," Lyme Central senior Josh Lathrop said. "We've been hoping to go there ever since we started."

Six Lyme Central students, all with pretty creative minds. Four of them have been trying to reach this goal for the last three years. And now, with a second place finish at the state competition, they've done it. The kids and their coach are headed to Iowa State University next month to compete against 800 other international teams in the Odyssey of the Mind World Competition.

"I've had other teams and once we win at regionals, we're done and we just practice a little," Lyme Central Odyssey of the Mind Coach Michele Bariteau said. "These guys don't stop. We've remade the car and there's discussion about remaking the track."

"When we go there, the main idea is to just have lots of fun and we hope we can do really well," Lathrop added.

The kids had to design and build a small car that will have to endure four different environments. Now in their scenario, the actor Will Smith stops by their restaurant, so they need to get the freshest ingredients for him. The car heads to Alaska, where it gets shot by, you guessed it, Sarah Palin. Next it heads to Great Barrier Reef, then Italy and even the jungle. It's that creativity the group says will serve them well not only in this competition, but in life as a whole.

"Just this alone, the skills you learn from it are, technical, brain storming, creativity," Lyme Central senior Eric McDermott said. "All that will be used later in life and the career you want to go into."

But unfortunately, these kids can't pack their bags quite yet. The trip will cost a total of $10,000. They've raised a few thousand already, but obviously need a lot more. They're accepting donations at the school and have a couple of fund raisers coming up in the next couple of weeks.

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