Out-of-the-box thinking for local students, Odyssey of the Mind | ParkRecord.com

Out-of-the-box thinking for local students, Odyssey of the Mind

Compiled by Cole Fullmer/The Park Record

On April 13, nearly 300 Utah elementary and middle school students competed in the Odyssey of the Mind tournament, a 35-year-old international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students.

Weilenmann School of Discovery, a charter school in its third year, and Trailside Elementary School, each won two of the divisions of the tournament, while schools from Park City, Salt Lake City, Alpine and Provo also earned top honors in at least one division. Nearly 40 teams participated, with some traveling as far away as St. George.

Teams of up to seven students tackled both a long-term challenge and a spontaneous verbal or hands-on question, incorporating elements of engineering, performance, art and motion, with points earned for success, accuracy, creativity, and ingenuity. Students develop team-building skills, creative thinking and problem solving in a fun, stimulating environment that advances K-12 STEM (science, technology, education and math) learning.

Due to their success, several local teams will accept invitations to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, scheduled for May 22-25. In East Lansing, Mich., where more than 900 teams from 25 countries are expected to participate.

“Some of our kids want to meet their peers from other countries and see how they tackle and solve the same challenges we have here in Utah,” said WSD coach Teri Pastorino, in a press release. “Others are excited to stay in university dorms at Michigan State and then see the Great Lakes for the very first time.”

Utah Odyssey of the Mind is accepting donations to help offset travel costs to the World Finals. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit http://www.utahodyssey.org. Those contributing to the travel costs, can earmark donations to one of their favorite schools, or funds will be shared by all schools that are making the trip.

The 2013 Utah State Tournament local winners are:

“Pet Project” Division I

1st Weilenmann School of Discovery

2nd Trailside


“Pet Project” Division II

1st Weilenmann School of Discovery

2nd Ecker Hill


“The Email Must Go Through” Division I

1st Summit Pediatrics


“ARTchitecture: The Musical” Division I

2nd Jeremy Ranch


“ARTchitecture: The Musical” Division II

1st Ecker Hill


“Tumble-wood” Division I

1st Trailside


“It’s How You Look at It” Division I

1st Trailside

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