Recent wins at regional and state competitions mean an Odyssey of the Mind team from Richard A. Shields Elementary School will head to Michigan in May for the world final competition.
Shields' OM Coordinator Cheryl Baldwin said a school-wide emphasis on the competition has helped prepare students to tackle the thinking skills problems they are presented with great results.
"Shields has really been working hard for the last few years building this program," Baldwin said.
Shields' world championship competitors tackled a challenge to create a dramatic scene where characters act in a way that is normal to them, but strange to others.
Called "It's how you look at it," the problem, one of five problems teams could choose, calls on students to change the scene so odd behavior becomes normal and normal behavior becomes suddenly odd.
The team of seven fourth- and fifth-grade students from Shields won regional competitions in early March and placed in state competitions, earning a trip to world finals, Baldwin said.
The students from Shields are one of three teams from the Lewes area that will be going to the world finals to compete at Michigan State University May 22 to 25, she said. The other teams are a Girl Scouts troop and students from Sussex Academy.
Each of the five long-term problems presented by the Odyssey of the Mind program are designed to engage students in creative critical thinking and to work in groups to come up with thoughtful, stylish solutions. Some problems require a performance while others challenge students to develop engineering and architectural skills.
For more information about the international competition, visit www.odysseyofthemind.com.