Eager for an Odyssey to Iowa

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff
Posted April 16, 2009, at 9:44 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Some SeDoMoCha Middle School students have earned the right to compete in the worldwide Odyssey of the Mind competition in Ames, Iowa, next month, but their hurdle is raising $10,000 by April 28 to make the trip.

Students Ivy Dow, Moses Eyere, Mia Smith, Nick Boyd, Cooper Nelson, Zach Lamb and Don Boyer placed second in their division at the state competition last month in Sanford and are now eligible to compete in the world finals May 27-30 at Iowa State University. The national competition will pit the Piscataquis County students against students from 22 countries and 34 states.

“It’s been good for our kids,” Thomas Evans, a SeDoMoCha school counselor and the local Odyssey of the Mind coordinator, said of the competition. “We intended this to be a learning year. We didn’t anticipate the opportunity to participate in the world finals.”

Odyssey of the Mind, an international education program, provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college, according to its Web site, www.odysseyofthemind.com.

Students show their skill at solving problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics, the Web site noted.

“All the solutions for these problems are developed and produced by the students,” Evans said Thursday. The competition shows how well the students work together, how creative they are and how well they use their minds to find solutions to problems, he said.

The students were surprised and pleased to have placed in the state competition, according to Eyere. “I didn’t think we’d win; I just thought it was a learning experience,” he said Thursday.

Like the other students, Lamb found it exciting to participate in the state event and is optimistic the funds can be raised for the Iowa trip. To date, the students, their parents, local organizations and the school have raised about $3,330 toward the goal. Bottle drives, car washes and video game tournaments are some fundraising events planned. “It’s ambitious, but we’re going to try our best,” Evans said of raising the remaining funds.

The $10,000 needed includes registration, housing, travel and food expenses for seven students, a coach and a chaperone, as well as the cost to ship the team’s props and materials to the competition, he said.

Donations may be mailed to SAD 68, Odyssey of the Mind, 63 Harrison Ave. Suite C, Dover-Foxcroft 04426. For information, call Evans at 564-2521.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/04/16/news/eager-for-an-odyssey-to-iowa/ printed on July 28, 2014