RL Stevenson ‘Odyssey’ Team Among Best In World
By Space Coast Daily // June 15, 2014
placed eighth in a field of 53 teams worldwide
AMES, IOWA – The team of Jordan Fackler, Maria Garcia, Lizzeta Martin, Samantha Palermo, Jaslynn Pelham and Maddie Warren competed in the 35th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals May 28 – May 31 at Iowa State University and represented themselves, and Brevard County, with distinction.
The team, made up of sixth graders from Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School of the Arts, placed eighth in a field of 53 outstanding teams in their category from around the world.
A total of more than 800 teams worldwide competed in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. The competition emphasized creativity and teamwork, and has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide.
“It was so exciting watching the girls embrace their world finals experience,” said Coach Jennifer Pelham.
“They were thrilled to leave world finals knowing they had placed eighth in the world, but they also came away with so much more than that victory. They walked away with friendships and memories of an amazing experience they will never forget.”
The R.L. 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 R.L. Stevenson team’s structure held an impressive 580 pounds.
“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.
“This is awesome,” said R.L. Stevenson 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,” said Corneau.
At the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, the girls have the chance to learn about other cultures through a common goal…to be as creative as they can.
Each team member took away not only an outstanding educational experience, but one of camaraderie and fun:
“My favorite part of world finals was competing against other countries, and being with all my friends for a week.” – Samantha Palermo
“I liked walking around and seeing the culture of Iowa – visiting the Papajohns Sculpture Garden was very unique and interesting.” – Trinity Stenger
“Getting to do a once in a lifetime experience with my friends was my favorite part.” – Jordan Facklers.
“Pin trading!” – Jaslynn Pelham
“This was the best trip I’ve ever had!” – Maria Garcia
“My favorite part was being with my friends and going tubing.” – Maddie Warren
To reach the World Finals, the R.L. 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 in April.
Millions of kids all across the globe worked 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 — and these teams represent the best of the best creative minds.
HUGE COMMUNITY SUPPORT
The R.L. Stevenson Odyssey of the Mind World Finals team received outstanding financial support from both area businesses and individuals.
“On behalf of all the team members and their families, I would like to thank all of the incredibly generous people and organizations that supported our trip to the world finals,” said Coach Pelham. “Without their support we could not have made this trip.”
Those supporting the R.L. Stevenson Odyssey of the Mind World Finals team include:
Robert Louis Stevenson Parent Organization; Virginia Zumba; Space Coast Odyssey of the Mind; Craig Technologies; Lockheed Martin; Merritt Island Elks Lodge #2650; Cape Canaveral Pak Mail; Herb and Janet Yamada; Mary Nanny; Gil Molina; Cape Canaveral Country Inn and Suites; Cocoa Beach DoubleTree; Gold Mine Pawn Shop; Robert Lowe, DMD; Jean Zink; SpaceCoast Iceplex; Dressler & Dressler Attorneys at Law; Carolyn Seiler Studio; Laurie D. Ward; Jack Masucci Jewelers; Jeffrey M. Barlow, DDS; Stan Tribble; Chris and Julie Abell; Dr. Robert Daria; Bud Farrar Insurance Agency; Perrone Properties; Len and Mary Beaulieu; Paulette Davidson; Rebecca Thering; Ms. Carol Farran; Divine Mercy Catholic Church; Tim Lutz; Cape Canaveral Kelsey’s Restaurant and Pizzeria; Brano’s Italian Grill; El Charro; Publix Super Market at First Merritt Shopping Center; Fun Town; Lions Club International; Sr. Mary Divilly, Divine Mercy Catholic Church; and Grimaldi Chocolate Sales.
BELOW 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 in April.