Tag Archives: Odyssey of the Mind

Nine HISD Schools Win at State Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from Horn Academy pose as pirates for part of their Odyssey of the Mind competition.

Students from Horn Academy pose as pirates for part of their Odyssey of the Mind competition.

Fourteen schools participated in the state Odyssey of the Mind competition on Saturday, April 13, 2013 and students from nine of those schools will advance to the World Finals in May.

Odyssey of the Mind has become the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide, and HISD teams have been working hard to on their projects and presentations since October.
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Sharpstown International One of 12 HISD Schools to Advance to State Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from 12 HISD schools will compete in the state Odyssey of the Mind competition on April 13.

For students at Sharpstown International School, the excitement of advancing past the regional competition is particularly meaningful as 2013 marks their second year of participation and back-to-back wins.

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Walnut Bend blogs about journey to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Students from Walnut Bend Elementary School earned honors at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Ames, Iowa. Walnut Bend, an Apollo 20 campus, competed against 800 teams along with seven other HISD schools: Bellaire High School, Pin Oak Middle School, and Horn, Poe, River Oaks, Roberts, and West University Elementary Schools. The student-driven problem-solving competition emphasizes teamwork and creativity.

From the Walnut Bend blog: Pictured is coach Michelle Dahlquist apprising the fourth-grade team of how they did on their long-term problem.

Along the way, the team chronicled the adventure on the Walnut Bend Odyssey of the Mind team blog.

Walnut Bend Principal Susan Shenker watched a live video stream of the awards ceremony on Saturday, May 26. “I am so very proud of our amazing, hard-working students and their incomparable coach, Michele Dahlquist,” Shenker said. “Competitions such as this are a reminder that real learning is about creating and problem-solving and that these types of experiences should be available to all learners.”

Walnut Bend earned third-place honors in the “You Make the Call” category, in which students were required to “design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that will support as much weight as possible.” The school also ranked fourth in the “Ooh-Motional Vehicles” category, which required students to “design, build, and drive a vehicle that will travel a course where it will encounter three different situations. The vehicle will display a different human emotion for each encounter and one will cause it to travel in reverse.”

Walnut Bend ES Advances to State Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from almost two dozen HISD schools will be competing at the state level of the Odyssey of the Mind contest on April 14—but for two groups of students from Walnut Bend Elementary School, the thrill of advancing past the regional level is particularly sweet, as 2012 marks only the first year that the Apollo 20 campus has ever participated. 

A team of fifth-graders won first place in its division for designing a vehicle with two propulsion systems that could move forward and backward and display four different emotions. 

A team of fourth-graders won first place in its division for building a balsa wood structure weighing less than the combined weight of three nickels (approximately 15 grams) that could support 345 pounds of steel. 

“This is a mathematical engineering problem that uses one of the lightest woods on the planet,” explained Walnut Bend Principal Susan Shenker, “so a structure’s strength comes from its design. The fourth-graders’ structure held more weight at the regional tournament than any other team’s present — including those from middle and high schools.” 

Both of the teams from Walnut Bend were coached by reading teacher Michele Dahlquist. 

Other schools that will advance to the state competition next month are: Burnet, Condit, Herod, Oak Forest, Parker, Poe, River Oaks, Roberts, Twain, and West University elementary schools; Grady, Lanier, Pershing, Pin Oak, and Revere middle schools; Bellaire and Carnegie Vanguard high schools; and T.H. Rogers, the Horn Academy, and Sharpstown International. 

For complete regional results, visit the Odyssey of the Mind website.