RL Stevenson ‘Odyssey’ Team Heads To World Finals

By  //  May 4, 2014

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a long journey full of adventures

ABOVE VIDEO: To reach the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, the RL Stevenson team had to win on a local level, and then Florida state level, as they took home Brevard County’s only first place finish in the state competition, which was held on the campus of the University of Central Florida.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Merriam-Webster.com defines “odyssey” as a long journey full of adventures, and a series of experiences that give knowledge or understanding to someone.

ODYSSEY-MIND-LOGO-160-1On Saturday, April 12, the team of Jaslyn Pelham, Trinity Stenger, Maria Garcia, Samantha Palermo, Maddie Warren, Maya West and Jordan Fackler, all sixth graders at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts, won the right to compete in the 35th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, set for May 28 – May 31 at Iowa State University.

The team is coached by Jennifer Pelham and Lizzeta Martin.

To reach the World Finals, the RL Stevenson team had to win on a local level, and then Florida state level, as they took home Brevard County’s only first place finish in the state competition, which was held on the campus of the University of Central Florida.

ODYSSEY-MIND-580-1

LEFT TO RIGHT: Maria Garcia, Samantha Palermo, Jazzy Pelham, Maya West, Maddie Warren, Trinity Stengler, Jordan Fackler, all sixth graders at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts, won the right to compete in the 35th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, set for May 28 – May 31 at Iowa State University. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

The RL Stevenson team competed in the Stackable Structure category, where teams design and build a structure made up of separate, non-interlocking components stacked on top of one another without forming any continuous columns.

“The team worked for eight months to develop their solution for the Florida competition,” said Coach Pelham.

Structures can be made of only balsa wood and glue, can weigh a maximum of 18 grams, and are tested by balancing and supporting weights during an eight minute, team-created performance.

“The team worked for eight months to develop their solution for the Florida competition,” said Coach Pelham.

More than 800 teams from around the world will compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Ames, Iowa. The competition emphasizes creativity and teamwork and has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide.

Michael Corneau

Michael Corneau

“This is awesome,” said RLS Principal Michael Corneau. “It truly demonstrates that when our students are guided well by coaches who care, and are insightful about this process, students can do phenomenal things. Our school will need to come up with approximately $5,000 to $8,000. Therefore, we are seeking folks to help us meet this goal, where students and their coaches will have an opportunity to participate,” said Corneau.

TEAMS REPRESENT BEST OF CREATIVE MINDS

Millions of kids have been working hard all year perfecting their solutions to Odyssey of the Mind problems and competing within their regions and states. Only a few advance to World Finals — these teams represent the best of the best creative minds.

Maria, Jazzy, Maddie, Jordan, Trinity, Lizzeta, Jennifer, Front row Maya, Sam

WHIZ KIDS: Back row – Maria Garcia, Jazzy Pelham, Maddie Warren, Jordan Fackler, Trinity Stenger, Coach Lizzeta Martin and Coach Jennifer Pelham. Front row – Maya West and Samantha Palermo. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

While the competition is fierce, there is also a feeling of camaraderie among competitors. Many students form life-long friendships that span the U.S. and the globe. At World Finals, teams have the chance to learn about other cultures through a common goal…to be as creative as they can.

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 girls are now working to raise $10,000 for their trip to World Finals, which has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide,” said Coach Pelham.

They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

“The girls are now working to raise $10,000 for their trip to World Finals, which has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide,” said Coach Pelham.

Tax deductible donations for this team of future women engineers can be made out to Stevenson Volunteer Group – OM/Iowa and sent to RL Stevenson Elementary School, 1450 Martin Blvd., Merritt Island, FL 32952.  For questions regarding donations, please contact Jenny Caldwell at 321-454-3550.


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