After Local Victory, Odyssey Teams Figuring Out How To Get To Competitions Next Level


The fifth and sixth grade students on the Odyssey of the Mind teams at Belle View and Stratford Landing Elementary Schools probably thought that solving the problems put forth in the regional competition were tough enough.

Now, though, having finished first and second in their respective divisions on April 18 at the state finals in Newport News, the two teams face the challenge of financing the next expedition: the international competition on May 27 in Ames, Iowa.
Team members from both schools have gone about the fundraising process, writing community leaders and planning plant sales, lemonade stands and restaurant nights to help defray the travel costs. Current estimates put the cost of the trip at about $9,000 per team.

The two teams coaches, Karen Corbett-Sanders of Belle View and Terri Bell of Stratford Landing, have also been brainstorming ways to make the trip to the international competition a reality, including possibly chartering a bus for the two teams 13 students and 11 chaperones to share.

Odyssey of the Mind is all about creative problem solving and teamwork, Corbett-Sanders said. By combining efforts in fundraising and traveling together, our teams and their parents are putting these skills into practice.

The teams showings at the state level were based on how they handled problems involving superstition choosing one long-term problem to work on in advance and facing one spontaneous problem to handle on short notice at the state meet.

In the world competition, the south Alexandria problem-solvers will be pitted against teams from across America and 25 other nations.