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Three Teams From Region 19 Place at State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament

The following teams from Region 19 placed at the New York State Tournament held at Binghamton University on Saturday, April 7 . . .


Seneca Intermediate School placed second at States in the Animal House Division 1 competition.


Salamanca Central School took third place in the Animal House Division 3 NYS competition.


Wellsville Middle School placed third in the A Stellar Hangout Division 2 problem.

By placing second at the state tournament, the team from Seneca Intermediate School in Salamanca is eligible to attend the World Finals, which are set to take place at Iowa State University on May 23-26. 

Odyssey of the Mind is a world-wide creative problem-solving tournament, which promotes original and divergent thinking as a team sport.  Divergent problems -- those with more than one solution -- encourage students to learn and lead the way using 21st century skills.  By working in teams of up to seven members, participants learn teamwork, the appreciation and understanding of others, and the concept that a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual.

These three teams created and performed eight-minute solutions to one of these two mind-bending problems:

Problem 4: Animal House

Over the years, Odyssey of the Mind teams have designed structures that changed into many unbelievable shapes and sizes that balanced and held as much weight as possible. This year, teams will turn their balsa wood structures into animals! Since animals need to eat, they must be fed. The structure will have its appearance transformed and explained during an original performance. During the performance, the structure must hold the team-created food while it supports weights.

Problem 5: A Stellar Hangout

In the outreaches of the universe, there is an Intergalactic Hangout where all sorts of creatures from different worlds stop, eat, refuel, and relax. Teams will create a humorous performance centered on this science fiction hangout that includes original creatures, foods, and a search for space treasure. There will also be a worker character, entertainment, and a futuristic map at the hangout.

Students spend months of their free time solving these problems as well as developing teamwork skills, independent study, friendships, confidence . . . all while improving their brainstorming and problem-solving techniques. They learn new things and utilize their individual strengths to solve the problem. Teams also learn how to budget money since there is a cost limit to each problem.  Competitions showcase imaginative costumes, elaborate props, dances, original songs and poetry, creative writing and much more.         

Not only do the participants compete within their chosen problem, but teams must also perform well in a “spontaneous problem”, where they solve a new problem on the spot. They must be creative, quick thinking and work well together as a team.

Competitions are the culmination of many months of work from students, coaches, parents and judges who all work together with the common goal of encouraging creativity, supporting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and learning new things in a fun environment.

Thousands of teams from throughout the United States and 20 other countries participate in Odyssey of the Mind.  For more information on this program, please visit, or call CABOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8323.