By NewsLine Staff

Forty-one teams from 10 St. Johns County schools competed in the Manatee Region Odyssey of the Mind tournament on March 5 at Pacetti Bay Middle School. The Manatee Region encompasses 19 counties in Florida and welcomed 67 teams in all grades including nearly 45 students to the annual competition.

Teams from Durbin Creek Elementary School, Wards Creek Elementary School, Pacetti Bay Middle School, Patriot Oaks Academy, St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Johns Public Library and Allen D. Nease High School placed at the top of their problems and divisions and qualified for the Florida state tournament to be held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on April 9.

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Odyssey of the Mind students use critical thinking and grow in confidence as they build teamwork, creativity and problem-solving skills. Teams of up to seven students select a long-term problem and spend up to six months preparing a solution in the form of an eight-minute skit. The problems are designed for competition with scoring components and limitations to be followed.

The long-term problems change every year and they fall into five general categories: mechanical/vehicle, technical performance, classics, structure and performance.

In a second component of the tournament, teams use skills developed through participation in the program to solve an unknown spontaneous problem. Teams must present both solutions completely on their own, including script, set, costumes and devices without receiving outside assistance from coaches or parents.

Winners of the state tournament will advance to the World Finals at Iowa State University May 25-28, 2016.

Photos courtesy Amanda Zikos

The Patriot Oaks Academy team displays their medals.

WCES Problem 2 Ready to Perform

The Wards Creek Elementary team is ready to perform.

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