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Sunday, March 06, 2005

odyssey of the mind  

posted by Michael Piwonka 10:16 AM
Allie participated in a regional Odyssey of the Mind competition yesterday at Wingate University. The competition is a problem-solving exercise that requires all work to be done by the participants, with minimal guidance from coaches and parents.

While her team didn't advance to the state competition, she had a lot of fun (she even commented at the end of the evening that this "was one of the best days of my life"). The kids spent all day at Wingate, performing a pre-arranged skit in the morning, and a spontaneous presentation in the afternoon.

The awards ceremony at the end of the day was especially fun, as the kids all got to watch themselves on a video prepared that day that showed all the teams in various stages of preparation and performance.

Two other teams from Allie's school did win their respective programs, and will be advancing to the state competition in a couple weeks in Boone, NC. One of the winning teams contains several of Allie's friends, and they invited us to a pizza party last night (that was planned regardless of the day's outcome). We enjoyed watching a video of their team's performance.

I hope Allie wants to continue to participate next year, and Penny and I were debating last night whether either of us wanted to be involved next year as a coach. We noticed a definite difference in the quality of coaching between Allie's team and the teams that advanced; while the role of the coach is limited, an effective coach can make all the difference.

All in all, I think the competition is a very good activity for kids, as they learn about problem-solving, team work, creativity, and having fun.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.




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