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Odyssey of the Mind – Mansfield Creatives

Local team competes in intellectual competitions


by Kristine Worthington - March 21, 2017

Have you ever thought great learners and problem solvers should have the same chances to shine as athletes? Have you heard of Odyssey of the Mind? It is a friendly competitive International problem solving program that gives students a chance to show off their mental and creative strengths in a competitive forum. Recently, several local teams competed in the Regional Odyssey of the Mind problem solving competition in Berwick, PA. One group of resourceful Mansfield students walked away with victory medals and are now preparing to participate in State level competition in April.

Participation in Odyssey of the Mind, often called OM, provides students with tremendous growth potential. Regional director, Karyl Otruba, has been involved with OM for years and has firsthand experience with how beneficial this program can be. She explained that each year there are 5 problem categories that students select from. The five problems require students to learn about topics including science, engineering, history, and art. Mrs. Otruba insisted that every student has talents they can bring to an OM problem solving challenge. Furthermore, as students get older and have multiple years of participation, they can become eligible for scholarship opportunities through the program.

Mansfield’s winning team, is coached by Jess McKee. The team members include: Brody Burleigh, Alexus Cummings, Molli Hall, Jett Harold, Ben McKee, Jaidyn McKee, and Robert Turner. The team gave us a behind the scenes look at some of their interesting props and shared some insights about their experiences. This remarkable group of young students will tell you that OM requires tremendous commitment and hard work, but it is also a lot of fun. Using the skills of creativity and problem solving, the students produced a unique solution to the “Catch Us If You Can” problem. This problem requires teams to design, build, and run three vehicles. If that is not enough of a challenge, throw in, that the team members can not touch the vehicles. Team success comes from members honoring each other’s strengths and being prepared to learn new skills as needed. Mansfield Area Creatives will have their acting talents on display at State Finals Saturday, April 1 at Moon Area Middle/High School.

To help counter the travel expenses, the team is doing a fund raiser on March 23rd and 24th. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enjoy a wonderful pasta dinner and a variety of gourmet brownies from Canyon Run Catering. Oder your pasta marinara or pasta with meat sauce dinner by emailing Information will be provided for easy local pick up.

For more information about Odyssey of the Mind visit these web sites:


Idea/Concept: Kristine Worthington

Videography: Erin O'Shea, Tyler Burgett

Video Editing: Erin O'Shea

Writing: Kristine Worthington

Anchor: Amiee Jones

Correspondent: Kristine Worthington


Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by Matthews Motor Company, Mansfield University

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