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April 13, 2012 > Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind

Submitted By Coach Russell Choy

The team of Sycamore Lodge 129, Odd Fellows, Hayward (formally known as Canyon Middle School) placed first in State competition on Saturday, March 31, 2012. With a search for a community sponsor complete, they successfully met fierce competition at Odyssey of the Mind State Finals. They emerged as California State Champions.

"The competition was the fiercest I've seen in five years of participation," said Choy. There were four teams within about 12 points of one another after the compulsory weight placements. All four teams supported in excess of the equivalent of 750 lbs on structures that weighed between nine and 12 grams (about the weight of three nickels) made solely of balsa wood and glue."

More than 1,400 students attended the competition, representing over 200 teams from throughout California. Team Odd Fellows will compete internationally at the World Finals at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, from May 23 until May 26, 2012. There are typically more than 7,000 competitors with about 20,000 people in attendance.

This year, the number of teams from Castro Valley dwindled from 14 to one due to loss of sponsorship. The community is still interested in forming teams. Team Odd Fellows' motto has been "Knowledge, Creativity, and Opportunity." Coach Choy hopes other community sponsors will come forward, as the Odd fellows did, and give more students an opportunity to participate in this creative, intellectual competition. The team seeks donations to help defray costs associated with attending the World Finals.

For more information, visit or contact Coach Russell Choy at

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