ENDWELL, NY – A group of Homer Brink Elementary students are sharpening their problem solving skills while schools are closed.
The seven third graders that make up an Odyssey of the Mind team had to enter the competition virtually this year.
OM deals with creative problem solving, including a section where the group works on a skit to solve a pre-determined problem and a spontaneous portion, where they are given 25 minutes to come up with unique answers to a question.
The group submitted a skit they had recorded before the shutdown, and did the spontaneous portion of the competition over Zoom.
Team member Emilia Pellerito says everyone on the team has a great relationship with one another.
“We love working together and building and writing and it’s just really fun to work together,” says Pellerito.
Six of the students have been on the team for the past three years, however, this year a new team member, Riley, joined.
Member Eleanor Snyder says that she was disappointed Riley didn’t get to experience her first competition.
“It was her first year and she’d never been able to do it before. So I just felt bad that she didn’t get to experience the real, going there and actually doing it,” says Snyder.
Due to the competition being virtual, O-M teams all got to compete at the World Finals, bypassing the first 2 levels.
Judges are going through over 700 submissions and will live stream the awards ceremony on May 30th.
The team has been working on this year’s project since November.