Look out, Florida, here we come!
Sherburne-Earlville High School will send seven students to Orlando this week to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Championships.
Accompanied by coach Heidi Johnson, SEHS seniors Jennifer Adsit, Lillie Ashton, Maleah Britton, Lily French, Justiss Kovack, Peter Peschel and sophomore Anna Fern will compete for a world title in person this Friday and Saturday.
“The competition will not be as long nor have as many teams as in years past because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the excitement will be as evident as teams come together from across the United States to compete,” said Johnson, whose team received State of New York Legislative Resolution certificates from Senator Peter Oberacker and Assemblyman John Lemondes this past Friday at Marauder Stadium for winning a Virtual World Championship in May.
“This will be S-E’s first time in front of live judges this year, which means a one-shot opportunity to show what they can do in the 8-minute time limit,” Johnson continued. “Most of the teams
traveling to the in-person event did not compete in the virtual competition. S-E is one of the few that chose to do both!”
Competing in Division 3 of the Virtual World Championships, SEHS placed first among 32 teams from around the world. Odyssey of the Mind HQ in Sewell, New Jersey, announced the SEHS virtual title and others May 29 on its Facebook page.
“Odyssey of the Mind has three components that are added together for a total score: Long-term Performance, Style, and Spontaneous,” said Johnson, who has coached most of the current team for the past nine years. “While we did not receive the highest score in any one of the three individual areas, it was our combined score that put us in first place. This makes for a true, well-rounded win!”
Teams qualified to compete in the Virtual World Championships through state or country competitions. Our SEHS team earned its spot by placing first in the New York Odyssey of the
Mind competition in April, when it also won its fourth Ranatra Fusca Award for “exhibiting exceptional creativity, either through some aspect of their problem solution, or an extraordinary idea beyond the problem solution.”
The team chose to work on Problem 1 – creating a rideable vehicle that uses stored energy, with extra points awarded for a power source other than a battery. SEHS chose compressed air with a pneumatic piston to create linear motion that allowed its vehicle to move forward and backwards.
“This is a long-sought dream come true,” said Johnson, whose team took third in the state during its first year of competition and missed qualifying for Worlds by a mere 2.34 points. “They have worked hard at every level since that first year to earn the right to go to Worlds. I have struggled to find the words to express how very proud I am of this team and all that they have had to overcome to achieve this amazing honor.”
The SEHS Odyssey of the Mind team thanks Sherburne-Earlville’s administration, Board of Education, community and family members for their support and generosity in making this dream a reality.