| Americus Times-Recorder |
SCS does great in Odessy of the Mind

For seven of the past eight years, a team or teams from Sumter County Schools has secured victories on the regional and state levels to compete in World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind. Sumter County Middle achieved the first success in this current journey by four teams from Sumter County Schools. The other three teams will compete in future competitions in Lilburn and Kennesaw.

Coached by Gera Nelson, the team of seven members began solution of their selected problem two of five in the different categories for this year’s competition.

“The students selected problem two. It is a difficult problem but with months of creative work and practice, these students were prepared. I am proud of them for their first place win in the float competition and more importantly, first place in division two or problem two. This team was the only team in division two to complete the required flight plans. We look forward to making improvements to the sets and aircrafts and to taking them to future competitions,” said Dr. Nelson.

Problem two, “Return to The Gift of Flight,” reads, “Teams will make and operate a series of aircraft that will complete a variety of fight plans. The flight plans include flying straight, making a target spin, traveling slowly, dropping something into a target, touching down and taking off, and a mass launch of multiple aircraft. The aircraft in the solution will be made of a variety of materials and will have a variety of power sources. The testing of the aircraft will be presented in a team-created performance that will include a character that serves as a creative “air traffic controller.”

The difficulty of the problem seemed to frighten a usually high number of teams for the problem’s solution. Still, the team of creatively-talented and expressive students from Sumter Middle designed winning aircraft and executed the required procedures within the seven minute time limitation. They were the first place winning team. Teams could only spend $145 on the problem’s solution. The problem was open to age Divisions I, II, and III.

With this first win, Sumter Middle will travel April 10 to Columbus State University to possibly join other regionally-winning teams from Sumter County Schools for state competition.

World finals will be May 26 at Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich.

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