Knox teams qualify for World Finals

Four Knox County teams are preparing to be in the world spotlight after winning at state level competition.

Odyssey of the Mind teams from Dewitt, Girdler, and Lynn Camp Schools earned top honors at the annual state event held Saturday, April 2, at Western Kentucky University.

Collaboration and creativity were the key to winning for the Knox County teams, as students examined problems and identified the real challenge without limiting the possible solutions and their potential success.


Dewitt Elementary‘s team won first place as they solved problem five, “Fins, Furs, Feathers and Friends”.  The team’s problem was to create and present a humorous performance depicting problem solving from the perspective of three different animals. The animals were to help a stranger, help each other, and solve a problem that threatens the survival of all animals. During the performance, the animals were required to sing and dance.  Team members were Conor Marion, Alexis Mills, Noah Hensley, Brayden Hall, JD Burdine, Kaylynn Smith, and Emily Jordan.  Their coaches are Beth Mills and Novel Bond.

Girdler Elementary had two first place teams at this year’s state competition that are preparing to catch the attention of the world.  In problem two, students found themselves with “Something Fishy” to solve.  The prompt required a fisherman working from a designated area to “catch” three different objects that are outside of that area. The catch was on the move (much like the Girdler team) and included something expected, something unexpected, and a new discovery.  Team members were Austin Ward, Dalton Alsip, Josh Hoskins, Matthew Wood, Morgan Hicks, Sara Gibson, and Tyra Daniels. Coaches of the team are Rita Wood and Sherri Hammons.

Girdler‘s division two team of “Fins, Furs, Feathers, and Friends”, problem five, also earned first place honors at state.  Team members were Abigail Ward, Ailee Bargo, Braxton Chadwell, Drew Hale, Gavin Chadwell, Kaeli Hale and Ally Daniels.  They are coached by Liz Daniels and Kristie Hale.


Rounding out the top four teams in the district was the division three team from Lynn Camp High, earning second place honors.  Team members Austyn Weddle, Faith Smith, Clyde Teague, Nathan Farris, Trenton Osborne and Emily Garlen shared their curiosity, sympathy, frustration, and joy while completing the “Fins, Furs, Feathers, and Friends” problem for the high school division.  They are coached by Corri Taylor and Heidi Suttle.

All four teams will travel to Iowa State University on May 25-28 for World Finals.  Over 800 teams from around the world will compete in the largest international creative problem-solving competition.  Between now and May, each team will be conducting various fundraisers to help support their travel to the event.  Individuals who are interested in donating towards the experience are asked to contact the coaches at each school or Jennifer Carey, District-wide Gifted and Talented coordinator, at (606)546-3157.