On Saturday, March 25, 2023, Questar III BOCES hosted the Odyssey of the Mind – New York State Region 4 Tournament at Coxsackie-Athens Central School District. Odyssey of the Mind is an opportunity for students to become expert problem solvers. Students work in teams, using their imaginations and developing their creativity to solve open-ended problems. The competition emphasizes teamwork, budgeting, time management, public speaking and more, all skills that competitors will take with them throughout their lifetime.
Students represented 38 teams from 11 different districts and 1 independent school across Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene Counties. Teams competed in their choice of one of six different Long Term Problems. Each Long Term Problem belonged to a category, and each had a theme with different requirements that needed to be included in their performance. The problems included:
- Primary (not scored), “Dinos on Parade!”
- Problem 1: Vehicle, “Pirates and the Treasure”
- Problem 2: Technical, “Because iCan”
- Problem 3: Classics, “Classics… The Walls of Troy”
- Problem 4: Structure, “Where’s the Structure?”
- Problem 5: Performance, “The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!!”
In addition to the Long Term Problem which teams practiced for, they were also scored on a Spontaneous Problem. This problem is a complete surprise until they are presented with it the day of the tournament and need to think on their feet to respond.
In total, 17 Region 4 teams advanced to the New York State Tournament in Syracuse, NY on April 15, 2023. From here, teams have a chance to advance to the World Finals in May at Michigan State University. Fun Fact: NYS Region 4 has sent at least one team to the World Finals every year since 2007 (except for 2020 when the event was canceled due to the pandemic)!
Hoosic Valley Central School District secured the most team positions in the NYS Tournament with five, followed by Averill Park Central School District and East Greenbush Central School District each sending three. Congratulations to all teams heading to Syracuse in April!
Full scores can be found here.
Teams Advancing to New York State Finals:
Problem 1: Vehicle, “Pirates and the Treasure”
Ahoy OMers! In this problem, a group of pirates sail their “ship” to reclaim stolen treasure and return it to the Queen. The pirates will battle an original sea monster that guards the treasure. The performance will also include a pirate captain, flag, and song.
- Hoosic Valley Elementary School – Division I, 1st Place
- Algonquin Elementary School (Averill Park) – Division II, 1st Place
- Troy Middle School – Division II, 2nd Place
- Lansingburgh High School – Division III, 1st Place
Problem 2: Technical, “Because iCan”
Some contraptions and devices seem to make tasks much more complicated–and in this problem, that’s a good thing! Teams will create a device that will perform tasks including raising a flag and ringing a bell simply because they can. Once the device starts, it will complete the series of tasks without team assistance. The setting will be a team-created laboratory, and the performance will include an inventor character and a costume that changes its appearance.
- Algonquin Middle School (Averill Park) – Division II, 1st Place
- Knickerbacker Middle School (Lansingburgh) – Division II, 2nd Place
Problem 3: Classics, “Classics… The Walls of Troy”
OMers know there is more than one way to get past any type of barrier–and, in this problem, they will prove it! Ancient Greek Poet Homer created The Iliad, which tells the story of Achilles and the Trojan War. Now, OM teams will put their spin on the popular concept of the “Trojan Horse” by creating one of their own. It will be used to get past a wall in a performance that also includes a character from The Iliad, an original Greek Chorus, and an unusual statue.
- Citizen Genet Elementary School (East Greenbush) – Division I, 1st Place
- Hoosic Valley Elementary School – Division I, 2nd Place
- Hoosic Valley Jr/Sr High School – Division II, 1st Place
Problem 4: Structure, “Where’s the Structure?”
In this problem, teams will have audiences wondering, “Where’s the structure?” Teams will design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that balances and holds as much weight as possible. It will have three parts and each part will be hidden in plain sight. During the performance the team will reveal each part and assemble them into a final structure for testing. The performance will also include a poem about searching for something special.
- Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School (East Greenbush) – Division I, 1st Place
- Averill Park High School – Division III, 1st Place
Problem 5: Performance, “The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!!”
OMG! Can you believe that happened? Teams will create a humorous performance about a dramatic character that overreacts to common events. The performance will showcase different theatrical styles as the character overreacts. However, in one situation their reaction is justified, but they are ignored. The performance will also include something that grows and a costume that represents two characters.
- Berlin Elementary School – Division I, 1st Place
- School #16 (Troy) – Division I, 2nd Place
- Hoosic Valley Jr/Sr High School – Division II, 1st Place
- Howard L Goff Middle School (East Greenbush) – Division II, 2nd Place
- Hoosic Valley Jr/Sr High School – Division III, 1st Place
- Catskill High School – Division III, 2nd Place
Additionally, each tournament can present OMER’s Awards. Based on nominations, these can be awarded to an individual, team, coach, parents, officials, or others who serve as exemplary examples or role models during the tournament. OMER’s Awards were awarded to:
- Scott M. Ellis Elementary (Greenville CSD)
- Lansingburgh High School
- Graham Brewer
- Coxsackie-Athens Central School District Tech Department
In addition to the coaches, schools and families who supported students in this competition, Questar III BOCES would also like to thank Coxsackie-Athens CSD for being our host, and the many volunteers and judges who made this event possible. Thank you!
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