Local Odyssey of the Mind teams headed to world competition

Fulton County

BROADALBIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For many at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the shift from in-person to virtual learning was a difficult obstacle to overcome. Now, more than a year later, and one local team is taking their hard work and dedication further than ever before.

Broadalbin-Perth High School’s Odyssey of the Mind team is taking their problems to the world stage.

“This year, our problem was to, we had to start in the real-world setting and then we had to travel to a virtual reality world,” ninth grader Jacob Hughes explained.

Tasked with a problem that requires creativity and thinking outside the box, students put their minds together to find a solution that can be presented in a theatrical and entertaining way.

“This is our backdrop, which transitions from the real world all the way down through dimensions into our virtual reality world, which is a store.”

Normally, the group would meet on a weekly basis to practice and design costumes for their final presentation, but the shift to virtual learning created a whole new problem for the students to solve.

“In a setting where you have to create and build things, it’s just not conducive to that, so I know that it’s been a major challenge,” Odyssey of the Mind district coordinator Tammy Staied said. “When we actually saw the videos that they submitted it was just mind-blowing.”

Now back together as they prepare for the world state, coach Alison Aeri said the challenges of a difficult year was just another step on their way to the World Finals and achieving their goals.

“I feel like it is such a reward that they decided to stay and do the hard work all year long virtually, even though many times it was not that fun because you are not that connected, and now to get to go to world finals is just amazing for all of us,” she said.

The world finals will take place on June 11 and June 12. The team of sixth to eighth graders will compete virtually while the team of ninth to twelfth graders will compete in Orlando.

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