Northwest Odyssey of the Mind team competes at state competition


Huynh-Duc, Melanie A

Odyssey of the Mind team performed their Batista problem on April 6th. Teams went to ECU to compete in a state wide meeting, hoping to go to worlds.

Hours spent engineering projects after school, money for transportation and materials, and commitments from the student and the family, all lead up to the state competition at ECU.  

“We work a problem and we have to find a very creative way to solve the problem using trash or other cheap materials,”  freshmen and member of Odyssey of the Mind Jacob Teague said.

Odyssey of the Mind is an after-school club focused on engineering and STEM skills, in which a team of seven students perform skits solving problems, or prompts.  Northwest’s team, including  Teague, Alex Wang, William Virost, Megan Virost, Alex Jureit, William Jureit and Ashley Buck, competed in two problems for states, after placing third in one of their problems, eliminating them from that round.  

“The Balsa wood problem was that you had to build a structure under 15 grams, which is the weight of three nickels, and had to hold as much weight as you could.  Some of the projects at worlds last year could hold up to 1500 pounds,” Teague said.

The team meets multiple times a week after school, the closer it is to competition, the longer their meetings.  Some going from 10-6 on weekends or until 9 or 10 on weekdays. However, the work is worth it to see the final product these students produce.

“It’s fun, you work with your team and get build a lot, make your own scripts.  It’s a mechanical skit that you build yourself,” Teague said.

Even though the team placed fourth at states, disqualifying them from continuing on to worlds, they’re hopeful for next year and plan to do fundraising to support their team even more.  The hours spent working on weekdays and weekends and the commitment from both the students and their families is worth it in the end, seeing the final product and winning awards for their hard work at their regional competition.