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Cornelius News

World champs: Hough wins first place at Odyssey of the Mind finals

June 1. The Hough High School Odyssey of the Mind team won their both regional and state competitions this year to go on to compete at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University from May 22-27, where the team took First Place for their age group and problem.

The Hough High team members are Ari Aubart, Ashlyn Ayers, Sydney Baker, Kate Baker, and J.P. Rosser and their coach is Joanie Baker.

Odyssey of the Mind (L-R): JP Rosser (10), Sydney Baker (12), Ari Aubart (12), Ashlyn Ayers (12), Kate Baker (12) Coach: Joanie Baker

This year more than 750 teams from nine countries and 35 states participated in the finals.

Creative problem solving

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving academic competition where teams of up to seven students must devise a solution to a long-term problem that meets multiple requirements over the course of an entire school year. They then present their solution in an 8-minute skit, for which they build their own set, make their own costumes, and write their own script with no outside adult assistance.


There are five long term problems. Problem 1 is the vehicle problem where students engineer a vehicle that performs tasks. Problem 2 is the technical problem involving various engineering feats. Problem 3 is the classics problem that reinvents a classic cultural work of art or literature or both. Problem 4 is the structure problem, where students build structures made of balsa wood to withstand hundreds and sometime up to thousands of pounds of weight. Problem 5 is the performance and humor problem.

At competition, students also compete in a spontaneous problem-solving round where teams are presented with an unexpected problem and have to think on their feet. They have 3-8 minutes to solve these problems, which are is verbal, hands-on, or a combination of both.

While on campus, teams compete in their long term and spontaneous problems, live in the dorms, eat in the dining halls, participate in pin trading, connect with international buddy teams to learn about different cultures, attend NASA-sponsored workshops, visit creativity and international festivals, and participate in pin trading.