Students at Lay Elementary School did not have to travel far this year in order to compete against the world.
The annual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals returned this year, post COVID-19, with in-person and virtual events. For Lay students, this provided an opportunity to perform using video and audio at school to showcase their work and place in the top 10 in two different categories.
Their challenge came in the form of a problem for their grade division. The problem solvers took on Odyssey’s Problem 5 “Life is a Circus” in division 2. The problem read:
Sometimes life seems like a circus! Teams will create a performance about a young person enjoying a regular life in our world who wakes up one day to discover they somehow were transported into a circus world. In the circus world there will be original animals performing unexpected tricks, a clown, circus acts, and a ringmaster that announces the activities. The young person returns to the regular world thinking it was all a dream until they see a mysterious figure that turns out to be from the circus.
Lay Elementary lived up to the challenge with a creative performance to earn the 7th place spot in their division.
The team also earned 3rd place honors in their spontaneous problem solving.
Jennifer Carey, gifted and talented coordinator for KCPS, reflects on the past success of OM and what is in store for the future.
“Odyssey has a long tradition in Knox County. We have many Odyssey alumni from our elementary, middle and high schools. However For the past 2 years it has been difficult to get teams together and accomplish a solution for competition with COVID-19 restrictions,” said Carey.
“This year we had 2 teams attend state competition in western Kentucky. Lay Elementary and Girdler Elementary. We are very proud to have this tradition of problem solving, teamwork and creative skill back in the forefront.
“Thank you to Beth Mills and Brittany Burton, who took on the challenge of building a team this year. I am extremely proud that Lay Elementary won state and participated in the virtual world competition for Odyssey of the Mind. They decided that was the fit for their team this year instead of traveling to Iowa.
“We are excited to get our students back into these programs and having opportunities that go beyond the classroom.”