Seven pupils at Sidney Elementary School spent hours during the past six weeks creating and rehearsing a skit for a competition.
Coach Marisa Orezzoli said she reminded the youngsters that the goal was “to have fun,” no matter what the outcome. Win or lose, she told them, the project would conclude with a pizza and ice cream party.
That party may be held later this week, Orezzoli said, and the youngsters, who won first place Saturday in the Division I contest titled “It’s How You Look At It” of the regional Odyssey of the Mind 2013, will go on to the state level competition next month.
“Our whole team is excited,” Orezzoli said.
The New York Region 13 Competition on Saturday was for schools in the Otsego Northern Catskills and the Delaware Chenango Madison Otsego Boards of Cooperative Education districts. More than 325 students from 15 schools or districts were signed up to participate in the event at the Robert W. Harrold Campus of the DCMO BOCES in Masonville.
The first-place winners are eligible to go to the state level competition at Binghamton University on March 23. Advancing teams may attend the annual World Finals competition at Michigan State University from May 22 to 25.
On Saturday, teams presented in divisions based on age, and those groups that competed were judged on their solution to the problem and style, plus a spontaneous component.
Odyssey of the Minds encourages students to tap into their imaginations and creative abilities to solve problems. The benefits of participating include learning team-building skills, development of creative thinking and elevated interest in regular classroom curricula, according to a brochure about the program.
“It’s How You Look At It,” listed as Problem 5, required students to create and present a humorous performance with two characters who act naturally to each other but seem odd to others around them. Organizers said 20 teams signed up for Problem 5, making it a popular option.