Playing to a packed house of eager observers, the fledgling Radford University Odyssey of the Mind team “hooked” the judges and “reeled in” the audience. Odyssey of the Mind is an international problem solving competition for students in grades K-12 and college students who participate in one of five “problems.” The Radford team chose to compete in the technical problem, this year’s “The Not-So-Haunted House.” They had to build five special effects that popped up, popped in or appeared suddenly while they performed the rest of the solution. The team chose an undersea theme, with most of the team members portraying fish with a dilemma. The team’s technical aspects were enhanced with colorful costumes, songs, dances and an intricate set.
Kenzie VanDerwerker, President of the OOTM Club and a junior in COSD program noted, “This team has worked really hard to create a solution that we enjoyed performing as much as the audience enjoys watching.” In addition to their problem-solution presentation, the team also helped out as judges in other problem areas. The director of the tournament was very appreciative of their help in making the tournament a success for the almost 500 participants and their families from around Virginia.
Ben Brumback, a sophomore in Computer science, said, “It was great to have all these families and their children hear about Radford University in the context of an activity that bright students from around the state participate in, and having almost 300 of them in the room when we presented our solution was really exciting.”
Robert Worley, a senior graduating with a degree in communication, noted that, “We were proud to represent Radford University and hope that, for many of the students in the room, that we gave them pause to think about RU as their choice!”
The team now moves on to world finals and will compete with over 850 teams from around the country and the world. The competition this year takes place on the campus of Iowa State University. The team has plans to raise funds by running a Lego Robotics camp for elementary-aged students. You may have also seen them near the Bonnie on Thursdays selling delicious hunks of cake for a dollar a slice. Come down any Thursday from 12-2, get your hunk of cake and help support the RU-OOTM team on their way to representing Radford at world finals!