The Apalachicola Bay Charter School’s Odyssey of the Mind team is on its way to the state tournament, thanks to its top finish at last weekend’s district.

The middle school team, coached by Anna Keel and Tara Ward, took the top prize Saturday at Shoal River Middle School in Crestview.

To understand Odyssey of the Mind (OM), it is best to understand the problem that the group has to solve, through their dramatic presentation. The idea is to generate creative thinking and practical problem solving among their fertile imaginations.

The problem, known as “Catch Us If You Can,” calls for a team to “design, build, and run vehicles from a multi-level parking garage to a secret meeting place without being stopped. Vehicles will travel different routes to reach the same destination.

“During their Odyssey, the vehicles will do something that prevents them from being followed,” it reads. “The performance will include the reason for the meeting, someone that wants to prevent the meeting, a simulation of a scene taking place inside a vehicle as it travels, and a soundtrack to accompany the vehicles’ travel.”

Ward said the team had to build three different vehicles, with three different propulsion systems that all had a different way to avoid being followed. She said they also had to add humor into the performance.

“We can't share theme right now because it violates rules for solutions to be published before World Finals,” she said.

Team members include sixth graders John-Michael Thompson and River Sheridan; seventh graders Nico Valenzuela, Alex Itzkovitz, Weston Bockelman and Jeremy Shuler; and eighth grader Jack Vail.

The state tournament will be held at the University of Central Florida in Orlando on Saturday, April 8.