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Tag Archive | "Odyssey of the Mind"

Odyssey group finishes in top 10 at state

A young and new Odyssey of the Mind team from Cedar View elementary who placed 2nd at the Regional tournament and earned their way to State Finals, had a good showing at state on Feb 23 at Thornapple Kellogg Schools. 

This Odyssey of the Mind team from Cedar Springs finished in the top 10 at the state finals. Back row (L to R): Kaleb Russel, Blake Stump, Hailey Nichols, Coach Morgan Burris, Morgan Sanders.
Front row (L to R): Luke Brown, Tanner Burris, Isaac Brown and missing from pic co coach Rachel Stump.

Teams from all over the state—Marquette to Kalamazoo, Brighton to Cedar Springs—sent creative, out of the box-thinking teams to compete for the top two spots that would advance them to a World Finals seat.

Our young team, although missing the top spots, did place in the top 10 in their division at State Finals. Congratulations to this team! We cant wait to see what they create for next season!

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Polar Vortex, Bomb cyclone and Odyssey of the Mind

This Odyssey of the Mind team from Cedar Trails Elementary will heading to the state finals on March 16. Courtesy photo.

What do they have in common? Creativity of course! Mother Nature or student teams it all happened this past weekend in West Michigan.

Cedar Springs sent three Odyssey of the mind teams to Greenville on February 23 to spontaneously think, present, and reach for the stars—meaning State Finals.

The new team of 1st-4th graders at Cedar Trails Elementary placed 2nd, reaching their goal, earning a trip to State Finals, and silver medals.

This team is coached by Morgan Burris and Rachel Stump with students, Blake Stump 4th grade; Kaleb Russell 4th grade; Luke Brown 4th grade; Hailey Nichols 3rd grade; Morgan Sanders 3rd grade; Isaac Brown 2nd grade; and Tanner Burris 1st grade.

The team from Cedar Springs Middle school earned a bronze 3rd place, narrowly missing a chance to advance. This team is by coached by Rhanda Bordeaux with students, Derek Bordeaux, Silas Johnson, William Dixon, Brayden Fisk, Riley Robb, and Holden Wolf. 

The other Cedar Springs Middle school team placed 4th, Honorable Mention. They are coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager, with students Coryn Wiles; Alana Wiles; Nate Slager; Jeremiah Slager; Aiden Lakes; Brielle Sarniak; and Jack Cairy.

We wish the Cedar Trails team much luck at state finals on March 16, and congratulate all the students for their hard work and perseverance.

If you are interested in learning more about the Odyssey of the Mind program for your student check out miodyssey.com. Region 2.

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Odyssey of the mind

OM team Cedar Trails

Cedar Springs Schools Odyssey of the Mind teams loved the snow days last week. It was perfect timing in their creative world! The three teams from Cedar Springs made good use of the extra time to put finishing touches on sets, scripts, cars, gadgets, props, costumes and creations. From hot glue guns to power tools, Odyssey of the Mind teams do it all!  

OM team Cedar Springs Middle School problem one
OM Team Cedar Springs Middle School problem 3

Join them at Greenville Middle School for the regional competition on Feb 23, 2019. More info at miodyssey.com region 2.

OM Team Cedar Springs Middle School problem 3

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Team competes at Odyssey of the Mind World finals 

By Linda Blackmore

We really had no idea what to expect as we hit the road for our trip to Ames Iowa. We packed pins to trade, costumes to wear and some nervous energy, piled in our decorated mini van and took off!  Upon arrival at Iowa State University we immediately noticed knots of students gathered and chatting, heads bent together interacting and pin trading. We entered Odyssey of the Mind World Finals and what a world it was!  Thousands of people, everyone smiling, trading pins and wishing each other good luck! Crazy costumes, unique props, color, chaos and creativity everywhere you looked. Our World for the next 3 days and we embraced it all! We had a few nerves as we prepared for our long term presentation but we are a team and together we did the best we could competing against 64 teams in our division—the best of the world! When we completed our spontaneous challenge our parents waited outside to cheer us on and drown us in silly string! Very fun and sticky too!

During our time at World Finals we watched numerous teams perform, check out the rock climbing, world finals food options, the Creativity Festival, the International Festival, Float and Banner Parade, pin trading, team bonding swimming talking and a lot of laughter! Our teammates and their families became both friend and family!

In the end we placed 26th out of 64 teams, and we are very proud of that for a first world finals adventure, but what we learned in Odyssey of the Mind goes way beyond the final results; it goes deeper into our life. We learned to never give up, to always look for another solution; that your team doesn’t mean you all have the same skills but means you all bring your skills to the team; we learned self confidence; a firm handshake; how to set our nerves aside to do the work; how to use power tools; hot glue guns; how to look at useless materials to repurpose them into something amazing; and we learned that having a team means someone always has your back.

A few thoughts from the team:

Jade Yowtz (8th grade) – World Finals was a great competition, a great experience and something I will never forget! Working with the best team in the world was amazing and I loved every minute of Odyssey of the Mind!

Nate Slager (6th grade) – This was my third year doing OM and I have always wanted to go to World Finals. Going to Iowa this year was one of the best experiences of my life!

Annalise Elliot (6th grade) – I had a lot of fun meeting students from around the world and to know that they had been working hard on the same problem as our team, I’ll never forget this experience and I’m very  thankful we got to go!

Coryn Wiles (6th grade) – Trading pins and meeting people from other countries was so much fun! Besides going to World Finals to compete, Odyssey of the Mind has given me a more creative brain, helped me in school projects and become closer friends with my teammates which pushes me to trust others!

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors who helped financially to make this possible and thank you to all our community who ate spaghetti, donated cans, bought crafts—we are grateful for you!

Our team:  Coaches Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager; team members Nate Slager, Coryn Wiles, Jade Yowtz, Annalise Elliot, Brielle Sarniak, and Aiden Lake. 

Odyssey of the Mind is open to all students K-12th Teams are divided by grade groups for competition.  For more information you can check out Miodyssey.com or oddyseyofthemind.com. You can also contact Linda Blackmore, regional coordinator at region13mi@gmail.com  or contact any team coach.

Cedar Springs Public Schools will be holding information/hands on presentation meetings for Odyssey of the Mind in early to mid September 2018   Hope to see you there!

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Odyssey of the Mind team at World Finals

This Odyssey of the Mind team from Red Hawk Elementary will be competing at the World Finals this weekend in Ames, Iowa. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Odyssey of the Mind team, coaches, families and fans are heading to the World Finals competition in Ames Iowa!  Opening ceremony was last evening, Wednesday May 23 and the awards ceremony is Saturday May 26. 

In between, the team will be pin trading, practicing their spontaneous and long term performance, sprucing sets, scripts and costumes, and meeting and interacting with teams from all over the world.  Thirty-four of the U.S states are sending multiple teams, and teams are also coming from China, Poland, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, British Columbia, Mexico, Switzerland, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, and Qatar. There will be 837 teams participating that are considered the best of the best.

The World Finalist team from Cedar Springs started their journey back in September/October with a coach search, a team of students, and a whole lot of creative thinking. Their journey will end on May 26 but the memories they make and the lessons they learned in this process will stick with them forever.

Good Luck to our four World Finalists!  A huge thank you to our community for the sponsorships, encouragement and support the teams have felt during the fundraising process.  

Excitement is in the air! 

If you are interested in getting your student involved in the upcoming season you can check out: odysseyofthemind.com (the 2019 Synopses are posted) or Miodyssey.com (a short video is posted about Odyssey) or contact your school principal.

The Cedar Springs Public School information meeting is held mid September 2018. This program is open to students K-12th.

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Red Hawk Odyssey of the Mind team to go to World Finals

Odyssey of the Mind held State Finals on March 17, the second step for creative teams competing their way to the World Finals. State Finals hosts the best teams from the entire state of Michigan and Cedar Springs sent two teams this year. The teams, made up of up to seven members, choose a challenging, open ended “problem” to solve and then test their solution against other teams in the same age division. Teams must use their creativity, ingenuity, acting, artistic talents and recycle, rework, and create, using teamwork and solving solutions on the spot to advance. 

Life skills are learned in abundance here.

To earn the right to advance, teams must place first or second against the best, most creative kids in Michigan.

Placing in second and earning the right to advance to world finals is our team from Red Hawk Elementary coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager.

Team members are: Aiden Lake, Brielle Sarniak, Jade Yowtz, Nate Slager, Annalise Elliot and Coryn Wiles.

The team is busy now creatively fundraising for their upcoming trip. At world finals over 16 countries and more than 35 states have teams competing! It will be an amazing memory maker for this creative team! Good Luck to you! 

If you would like to donate, you can visit their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/om-world-finals.

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Odyssey of the Mind

Red Hawk Elementary 1st place

Saturday, February 24, rang with creativity at the regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament in Greenville, for Region 2 West Michigan teams. The halls were filled to the brim with costumed creatures ready to “hang out” at a stellar location, vehicles ready to TRI their wheels and skills at Olympic sized events, Emoji faces, and classical characters galore! Charlotte’s web? We spun it. Gulliver’s travels? We journeyed through, and down the rabbit hole with Alice, plus so much more. 

Red Hawk Elementary 2nd place

We had primary (K-2nd grade) cooking classes and balsa wood structures holding 100s of pounds!

Creativity, teamwork, perseverance, hard work and a whole lot of fun was the common thread of the day. The best part is the students do it all by themselves. Hands off adults! If one way doesn’t work there are many other ways to try. That’s one of the best life skills of Odyssey of the Mind. 

Building confidence and leadership while embracing creativity and problem solving. Our world needs our O.M.ers! 

Cedar Springs sent three teams.

Cedar View Elemenatary 5th place

Cedar View Elementary – coached by Dena Fisk and Jennifer Redes (honorable mention 5th place) problem 3 div 1.

Red Hawk Elementary – coached by Michelle Wiles and Traci Slager (placed 1st and advancing to State FInals) problem 3 div 2

Red Hawk Elementary – coached by Rahnda Bordeaux and Matt Robb (placed 2nd and advancing  to State FInals) problem 4, div 2

Congratulations and best of luck at State Finals on March 17 at Thornapple Kellogg School.

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Odyssey of the Mind state finals

Three Odyssey of the Mind teams from Cedar View Elementary traveled to Thornapple Kellogg High School on Saturday, March 18, to compete in the state finals.

The team that competed in Odd-a-bot Div I (the robot problem) finished fifth.

The team that competed in the problem It’s time, OMER Div I finished 10th.

The team that competed in Catch us if you can Div I finished 9th.

“It was a very tough competition at this level,” remarked Michelle Wiles, one of the team coaches. “We are very proud of all their hard work, team building skills, and creative minds put to work in a new challenging way.”


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Odyssey of the mind teams head to state finals

Odyssey of the Mind Team 1.

Odyssey of the Mind Team 1.

Three Odyssey of the Mind teams from Cedar View Elementary will be heading to the state finals this weekend after placing at regionals in February.

The three teams traveled to Greenville on February 25 to compete at Regionals and finished with one first place and two second places, which allowed them to move on to State Finals.

The first team that took first place at Regionals did Problem 2 Odd-a-Bot: Coryn Wiles, Ember Briggs, Brielle Sarniak, Walker Glyshaw, Nathanael Slager, Devin Jobson, and Silas Cartwright, all in 5th grade.

Odyssey of the Mind Team 2.

Odyssey of the Mind Team 2.

The second team which took second place at Regionals did Problem 3 It’s Time, OMER: Dominic Vanderhyde and Michael Stevens, 4th grade; and Emily Stevens, Kendall Fisk, Alana Wiles, Jeremiah Slager, Logan Redes, 3rd grade.

The third team took second at Regional as well and did Problem 1 Catch Us If You Can: Kyla Robinson, Derek Bordeaux, Kaden Kirkwood, Riley Robb: all in 5th grade; and Gavin Kirkwood in 4th grade.

State Finals will be held on March 18 at Thornapple Kellogg High School. By visiting the miodyssey.com website fans can see when they are performing that day.

Odyssey of the Mind Team 3.

Odyssey of the Mind Team 3.

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Odyssey of Mind team takes third at State

Members of the Odyssey of the Mind team.

Members of the Odyssey of the Mind team.

By Judy Reed

A first-year Odyssey of the Mind team at Cedar View Elementary did something this year that is rarely seen—they finished second at regionals, then went on to take third place at state.

Team members Ethan Griffee, Hannah Anderson, Nate Slager, Ella Buttermore, Riley Robb, and Judy Visser were coached by Tanja Griffee and Aaron Anderson. Regionals were held February 27 at Greenville Middle School, where they placed second and earned a silver medal. The state finals were held March 19, at Thornapple Kellogg Schools in Middleville, where they placed third, and received a bronze medal.

The problem they competed in was called, “No-Cycle Recycle.” They had to build a car and perform a skit involving recycling and repurposing trash items.  

“They are an amazing group of kids,” said Coach Griffee. “They worked hard and did great as a team. I am extremely proud of them for their accomplishments!”

Regional Director Linda Blackmore, of Cedar Springs, was surprised at the progress the group made for being a first year team of fourth and fifth graders.

The program is overwhelming, and so I usually tell the coaches to have two goals: survive and have fun,” explained Blackmore. “They just need to get through it the first time, to learn the ropes. But then they went on to state. That hardly ever happens. It’s an accomplishment against the best of the best at state finals—to not only be there, but to place as well. It’s only happened maybe once in the 20 years I’ve been doing this,” she said.

Blackmore said that she’s hoping to get more teams from Cedar Springs involved in Odyssey of the Mind. Teams can be created at any grade level, from grades K-12, and grade levels can have more than one team, as Cedar View did this year. If anyone is interested in getting involved, contact your building principal, or contact Blackmore at region2@michiganodyssey.com.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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