Four districts shine at Odyssey of the Mind

Judges ask Gloversville High School students about their presentation for the Classics…Mockumentary! Seriously project at the Odyssey of the Mind competition Saturday hosted in F-F school buildings. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

FONDA — Four area school districts took the top spots in the three divisions of the Region 21 Odyssey of the Mind competition Saturday involving 63 teams from 10 districts, hosted by Fonda-Fultonville Central School District.

The program, held at the high school, was scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with prizes awarded at 5:30 p.m., but computer problems reportedly resulted in awards dribbling out, starting at 7:30 p.m. An error about winners of the Animal House project in Division II was expected to be resolved by Monday night, according to the OM Region 21 website. The best-scoring team in each project and division will go on to the state competition in Binghamton on April 7.

Boulevard Elementary School’s team A hit the maximum final score—350—based on having the best raw scores in the elementary school Triathlon Travels Division I, while Warren Street Elementary in Johnstown was second with 251.20.

Triathlon Travels required students to create and ride in vehicle for “jousting, curling and run track.” The students’ raw scores are graded on several components in their skit, including creativity, costuming, presentation and style. In addition, every team in all the divisions’ competitions have to do well in a spontaneous surprise project, in which “the kids have to walk into a room and solve a problem with no preparation,” FFCS coordinator Shelly Sanges said. The final scores are calculated from raw scores.

In the middle school Triathlon Travels Division II contest, Knox Junior High School attained 350; Fonda-Fultonville team B, 306.43; Gloversville, 255.72; and Warren Street, 157.95.

The biggest challenge in this project was “building our vehicle and putting things together at the last minute,” said FFCS student Keira Muselbeck.

The Emoji project involved creating a skit with a three-dimensional emoji. The Division I winner was Warren Street with 346.67 points, followed by Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville, 318.47; F-F team A, 276.29; and Harry Hoag Elementary in Fort Plain, 262.56.

In Division II of the same project, FFCS took first with 349.00, followed by the only other participant, Knox, 248.06.

In the Classics…Mockumentary! Serious? project, the students had to rework a classic story into a humorous presentation.

In Division I, the Boulevard team B in Gloversville won with 350 points, followed by Boulevard team A, 292.74; East Hill Elementary in Canajoharie, 287.44; and Warren, 251.02.

In Division II, Gloversville took first with 347.67, followed by Canajoharie, 315.92; Dolgeville, 307.49; and Knox, 247.76.

In Division III, Gloversville High School won with 341.46, followed by Camden, 331.09, and Dolgeville, 273.70.

The Animal House project involved creating unusual structures that can be turned into animals. The only two schools in Division I were Warren Elemenary with 340.21 points and Glebe Street Elementary in Johnstown with 293.19.

The Stellar Hangout project involved creating an intergalactic hangout with original creatures.

In Division I, a mixture, in this case, of grades three to eight, Homerkinds in Morris took first with 335.98 points followed in order by Broadalbin-Perth Intermediate, 326.07; OESJ Elementary, 321.23; Boulevard, 319.43; B-P Int., 290.72; FFCS team A, 276.83; East Hill, 272.23; Glebe, 271.41; Harry Hoag, 267.55; Warren, 266.14; and Boulevard, 262.42.

Rebecca Rumberger of Glebe said the most interesting parts of the project was “building it and the creative ideas.”

Teammate Noah Mollica added, “It’s not as easy as it looks.”

In Division II, a mix of grades, the FFCS team A took first with 311.32, followed by B-P Middle team A, 306.80; FFCS team B, 291.25; B-P team B, 285.12; Northville, 265.17; Knox, 232.64; Canajoharie, 225.62; Gloversville, 218.42; and Harry Hoag, 198.03.

“It’s a funny experience,” said Delaney Grady, an FFCS eight-grader, about the Stellar Hangout project. “It’s nice to be with all your friends.”

“We had to figure out what we were going to base our skit on,” said Grady, who played the mythical Princess Zelda.

Finally, in Division III, B-P HS won with 350 points, followed by Gloversville, 285.21, and Canajoharie, 207.45.

After each school’s presentation, judges asked students about how they put their work together. “We try to make it a learning experience,” said Mary VanAlstyne, head judge for Division I of the Stellar Hangout project.

The judges try to encourage all the students.

“There’s no negativity allowed in Odyssey performances,” she said.

While awaiting the results of the competition, students danced spontaneously to fast-paced, rhythmic music for several hours in the late afternoon and evening.

By Patricia Older

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