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‘Runaway Train’ leads to state competition for Odyssey of the Mind team

on March 5, 2015

On Saturday, Feb. 28, “The Polar Express,” a division 1 (grades 2-5) Odyssey of the Mind team from Warwick Valley Central School, won its Division Problem at the Regional Finals this weekend at Orange-Ulster BOCES.

The problem was “Runaway Train,” and the team had to build and run self-propelled vehicles on five different tracks, while meeting some really difficult technical requirements. They will move on to the state competition that will be held on April 11 at Binghamton University.

The team consists of Eric Bloom, Nanami Constantin, Mackenzie Henkel, Mary Hooey, Siobhan Kelly and Sophia Samborski. All the students are from Sanfordville Elementary with the exception of Mary Hooey, who attends Park Ave.

Odyssey of the Mind (OM) is an educational program that fosters imaginative, non-conventional paths to problem solving. Students learn to identify problems, express their ideas, collaborate as a group, come up with a solution and execute their solution in a creative manner. Some of the problems are mechanical, others are artistic or performance based. In addition to their performances, the teams are given spontaneous brainteasers to solve in front of a panel of judges using their verbal or mechanical skills. All the children who took part exemplified what the goals of every teaching institution should be: originality, resourcefulness, cooperation, creativity and diligence.

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