Shields Odyssey of the Mind team places seventh in World Finals

Shields Elementary School students, Team Fabin, seventh place World Championship finalists include (l-r) Sarah Nutter, Gabby Orsini, Emily Musgrove, Parker Cole, Charlie Gossett, Michael Daniello and Kemper Cole. SUBMITTED
June 23, 2014

The Shields Elementary Odyssey of the Mind team Team Fabin competed at the World Finals, May 29-31, finishing in seventh place out of an estimated initial field of more than 1,200 teams, and a finalist field of 62 teams. The Shields Elementary team was coached by Anna Nutter and Derek Cole.

The largely inexperienced team included thir-year competitor and second-year world finalist Sarah Nutter, second-year competitor Gabby Orsini, and first-year competitors Parker Cole, Kemper Cole, Michael Daniello, Charlie Gosset and Emily Musgrove.

Odyssey of the Mind, often called OM (although the official acronym is OotM) is an international competition of more than 13,000 teams, including teams not only from practically every state in the U.S., but also Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Czech Republic, DoDDS Europe, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Togo.

It is a creative problem-solving competition involving students from kindergarten through college. Team members work together at length to solve one of five pre-defined problems (the Long-term Problem) and present their solution to the problem at a competition. They must also participate in the Spontaneous competition by generating solutions to a problem they have not seen before.

The Shield Elementary team competed in Division I, Long-term Problem 2, a technical problem titled "The Not So Haunted House.” The team's challenge was to create and present an original performance that included a pop-up-style not-so-haunted house or environment, where four engineered special effects take place.

The performance required characters that experienced the special effects and narrators who described the effects, and the reactions of the characters to the audience - in the case of Team Fabin, through song.  The performance and special effects were scored for originality and engineering.

The completion of the World Finals tournament in Ames, Iowa was somewhat bittersweet for the team as Parker Cole and Sarah Nutter will not only move up to Division II; they will most likely be attending different schools.

The team thanked CHEF, Schell Brothers, Eric Blondin State Farm, the school board and all of their friends and neighbors who supported them in this endeavor.