AES team advances to state in Odyssey of the Mind
Armuchee Elementary team advances to state in Odyssey of the Mind
Posted on 03/07/2012

A team from Armuchee Elementary School has advanced to the state competition of Odyssey of the Mind. The Armuchee team participated in Division One, or elementary level, in the region competition. This is the third time that a team from Armuchee Elementary School has advanced to the state competition. 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.

The Armuchee team, led by parent coaches Kristen Vardy and Faye Cady, tied for 5th place out of 13 teams. The top five teams in that topic advance to state, which qualified the AES team for the state level competition at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA on April 14, 2012. The team members are: Chase Crawford, Levi Hammond, Olivia Vardy, Emily Cady, and Baileigh Dighton. "The parent coaches gave countless hours of volunteer time to work with these students,” stated Armuchee teacher Jaki Day. “Their dedication to this team and the program was a great contributor to the team's success.” 

The Armuchee team worked with the problem titled "Weird Science" where they were to create and present a performance about a team of scientists on an expedition to uncover the cause of mysterious events. The team selected the location of the expedition from NASA Earth Observatory Photographs, collected two samples and reported on their findings. The performance also included a technical representation of the mysterious events, the appearance of actually traveling, and a team-created device that the scientists were to use on the expedition. 

Two teams from Armuchee Elementary participated in the regional competition over the weekend. The second team participated in the problem titled; "To Be or Not To Be." This group also performed very well placing fourth out of eight teams, but only three teams advanced to state in that problem category. The second Armuchee team, led by fifth-grade teachers Burleigh Dighton and Dr. Ann Marie House, had a perfect score in the spontaneous problem solving category. The members of this team are: Bryson Smith, Ben Graves, Hannah Dellis, Sarah Ann Baker, Haven Alexander, Parker Dighton, and JJ House. In the category of “To Be or Not To Be”, teams were to put a musical theatre spin on one of William Shakespeare's most famous lines. Hamlet, the title character, ponders this question and realizes that the easy way out is not always the correct choice. Teams had to incorporate a character that portrays Hamlet's conscience, a creative scene change, a creative costume change, and use of a "trap door." A portion of the performance was to include musical theatre elements.

If the advancing Armuchee team places in the top three in the state competition for Odyssey of the Mind, they will be eligible to compete in the World Finals at Iowa State University in May. 

2011-2012 AES Odyssey of the Mind Team

Photo (left-right) : Chase Crawford, Levi Hammond, Olivia Vardy, Emily Cady, and Baileigh Dighton