Several teams from schools across Illinois competed on Saturday, March 21, at the Illinois State Odyssey of the Mind competition held in Belleville, Ill. Students from St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights competed in the structure building long-term problem. Fourth and fifth graders, Matthew Jo, Rachel Varvara, Travis Gates, and James Knea took first place in their age division.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Participants apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and world level. Thousands of teams from throughout the United States and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.
The St. Peter team, including member Blaine Andrada who was unable to attend the state competition, has now qualified for the World Finals to be held at Iowa State University May 27-30.
"The team is honored to have this opportunity to represent St. Peter Lutheran School, the Arlington Heights community, and the state of Illinois at World Finals. I hope that through this experience we will bring a greater awareness and appreciation for the Odyssey of the Mind program and the creativity and flexibility in problem-solving which it promotes." says team coach Mariana Knea.