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April 14, 2010 > Gomes Odyssey of the Mind

Gomes Odyssey of the Mind

Submitted By the Gomes Odyssey Team
Photos By Mei Mei

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that teaches creative problem-solving and other important life-skills to students from kindergarten through college.

The competition is first held at the Regional, then State level and culminates at the World event. Children work very hard from October to February to participate in Regional tournaments usually held in March and the winning teams move on to State tournaments held a few weeks thereafter. Two out of several teams from the State Tournament proceed to the "World level tournament" (May 26 - 31).

This year, a team, "Agents of Change," a group of 8-year-olds from John Gomes Elementary school, worked tirelessly on a problem called "Return to the Gift of Flight," that challenged them to create six different flight plans and three different propulsion systems.

"Agents of Change" cracked the problem in a very creative way. They solved the problem on the theme of the current students' lifestyle which is very hectic and stressful. It was then changed to reflect peacefulness and happiness in eight minutes while incorporating their flights.

Vinit Majmudar, Janani Sekar, Ashni Mathuria, Jacob Yeung, Larry Shi, Rahul Katwala and Jade Zhang competed with several teams in the Silicon Valley Regional tournament and won first place, then moved on to the California State Tournament and won second place. With this win, the team qualified for the prestigious 31st annual Odyssey of the Mind 2010 World Finals competition to be held from May 26 through May 30 at Michigan State University in Michigan.

By their involvement in Odyssey of the Mind, students learn teamwork, cooperation, creativity and utilize their imaginations to "think outside the box" and develop a "make it work" attitude. They gain self-confidence by exploring brain-storming techniques in an atmosphere of respect where no answer is ever wrong or silly. The life-skills they have learned along the way will be part of their own personal odyssey forever.

Many thanks to the team's coaches: Heena Majmudar, Ambika Sekar and Ketki Mathuria. Congratulations and good luck to the "Agents of Change" students as they explore a new adventure at the World Finals in Michigan.

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