Eglin Elementary Odyssey of the Mind Team Wins First in Regionals and Heads to State

The Eglin Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind team, the Eglin Einsteins, recently won 1st place at the regional competition held at Shoal River Middle School.

Competing in the NASA sponsored problem category, Weird Science, they competed against four teams from several counties and will now be representing Eglin, AFB, as they head to the State competition at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

The Eglin Einsteins are comprised of six Eglin Elementary School students of active duty members on Eglin, AFB, that have been working on the NASA sponsored problems for the last two months. The team, one of the youngest Division 1 teams, is comprised of 3rd and 4th grade students and has been diligently working after school and on weekends to prepare their presentation for the regional contest.

“The NASA sponsored problem required the team to create and present a performance about a team of scientists on an expedition to uncover the cause of mysterious events,” said Bretta Berger, Eglin Elementary Science/Gifted Teacher and Odyssey of the Mind coach.  “The team selected the location of the expedition from NASA Earth Observatory Photographs. The scientists had to collect two samples and report on their findings. The performance also included a technical representation of the mysterious events, the appearance of actual traveling, and a team-created device that the scientists used on the expedition.”

More than 100 teams from throughout the Florida will congregate on April 14, 2012, for the State Odyssey of the Mind Competition. This is Eglin Elementary’s first time to advance to the State Competition.

“The Eglin team and their families are excited to attend state competition, create lasting memories and make Eglin AFB proud,” said Berger.

Pictured above are (L-R front Evelynn Ortiz, Athena Hobbs and Emerson Baroni; back  Principal Dr. Karyn Combs, Drake Bracken, Christian Sellers, Gabe Briley, Coach/Teacher Bretta Berger)