On Saturday, April 14, two middle school teams from the Apalachicola Bay Charter School competed at the Florida State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Both Team A and Team B earned a spot to contend after placing second during the Emerald Coast Division’s Regional competition, on March 3 at Shoal River Middle School in Crestview.

In Odyssey of the Mind, students must use their creativity and ingenuity to solve problems. These problems are broken down into two categories: long-term and spontaneous. In long term, teams choose a problem at the start of the year with a certain theme and specific guidelines on which the teams will be scored. The team then works on their solution throughout the year, and they perform their solution at the competition.

In spontaneous, team members are assigned a problem the day of competition and are given a short amount of time to come up with a solution. Odyssey of the Minders, or OMers, work together in order to make their ideas come to life.

The middle school Team A, coached by Anna Keel and Tara Ward, includes Weston Bockelman, Alex Itzkovitz, Lauren Conway, Jeremy Shuler, River Sheridan, Avery Pharr, and Weston Taranto. Their problem “Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously?” required they choose a classic story and present it in a humorous, documentary-style performance.

Team A displayed an excellent showing for ABC School with a fourth-place overall finish. They won first place in the spontaneous portion of the competition. The members were each awarded a ribbon, and the coaches were given a large ribbon that is now on display in the lobby of the school.

The middle school team B, coached by Marisa Getter, includes Maya Itzkovitz, Emma White, C.J. Conway, Alex Sterling, Maya Ange, and Bella Price. In their problem, “Triathlon Travels,” the team built a ride-on vehicle to drive in an entertaining triathlon and complete three events, including jousting, curling and running a track. Between the events, the team was required to change the car’s appearance and amuse the audience.

Team B did very well and finished in 14th place, an impressive feat considering this is the state level. This was the first year competing for all members on this team, and they have certainly shown us their potential.

The elementary team from ABC school also competed in the Emerald Coast regional competition with their problem of “A Stellar Hangout” and placed fifth. In this problem the team was charged with the task of creating three different aliens on a treasure hunt for a team-created treasure. They had to create their own stellar hangout, complete with team-created food and entertainment.

Angela Lolley was the coach for this first-year elementary team that included Kate Ward, Kingston Williams, Lilly Willis, Connor Lolley, Owen Juno, Sophia Strickland, and Zariah Harvey.

All-in-all, this school year has been a major success for the Apalachicola Bay Charter School Odyssey of the Mind teams. They showed their amazing abilities at the regional and state levels. These students have made us all very proud, and hopefully we will have the same success next year!

River Sheridan is a seventh grader at the Apalachicola Bay Charter School.