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Valwood School’s “Odyssey of the Mind” teams had another strong showing at the Georgia state tournament, competing in a virtual platform.
The purpose of the competition is to focus on creative problem solving using a team approach, school officials said in a statement. Teams were scored on a combination of points earned from long-term solutions, spontaneous solutions and style.
The lower school team of third-graders Emma Davis, Drew DeMersseman and Ella Newsome and fourth-graders Zachary Routsong and Camille Vandemark won first place for Division I, Problem 5 Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning.
“The judges loved their performance and creative set, giving them first place in the long-term problem, and they also received first place in spontaneous,” school officials said.
The middle school team of seventh-grader Louden Castor and eighth-graders Anabella Paulk, Jaxson Routsong and Taylor Sparrow placed first in Division II, Problem 3 Classics … Omer and the Beanstalk, which was sponsored by Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.
The team was required to produce artwork made with baking soda.
“The judges loved their baking soda monster from ‘Where the Wild Things Are.'” school officials said. “They also appreciated their perseverance in competing with less than half of their original team from the beginning of the year. Both teams are coached by Kerri Routsong.”
The first-place wins qualify both teams for the “Odyssey of the Mind” World Finals in Orlando, Fla., where teams from throughout the United States and 13 other countries compete for the world title. For more than 20 years, Valwood has participated in “Odyssey of the Mind,” an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.
Valwood School has one world championship from “Odyssey of the Mind” from 2006. The 2019 sixth-grade “Odyssey of the Mind” team won first place in region and first place in state, and competed in the world finals.