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Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald - Schools

Students Go On A Mind Odyssey

A team of seven seventh- and eighth-grade female students from the Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School recently qualified to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind 2014 World Finals. The team won first place in the Long Island finals for acting out the problem, “The Not so Haunted House.”

The Plainview-Old Bethpage students then competed against 20 teams in the New York State finals held in Binghamton to earn second place, qualifying the team for the World Finals. Odyssey of the Mind is an international program whose mission is to teach students creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process.

“I am extremely proud of these young ladies who not only apply themselves in the classroom, but have also dedicated themselves to grow as leaders and critical thinkers through the Odyssey of the Mind program,” said Dr. Lorna Lewis, Superintendent of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District. “The competition directly correlates with the District’s STEAM initiative — which includes science, technology, engineering, arts and math.”

The team from Plainview-Old Bethpage is the only group from Long Island to qualify for the World Finals, which is being held at Iowa State University this month. The team will be representing their school and the region. Students will use their creative thinking skills to conceive of and solve a problem about guests who enter a haunted house or forest. The students will then present an eight minute performance with technical devices and creating costumes and props and drafting and acting out a script to accompany their performance.

The group will compete with more than 800 student-teams from all around the world. Previous world finals have included teams from five continents and 25 countries, including Africa, Poland, Uzbekistan, Russia and Japan. The Odyssey of the Mind 2014 World Finals will take place at Iowa State University May 28 through 31.

“This is an outstanding program for our students to be creative and learn valuable life lessons, such as the importance of teamwork, all while having fun,” added Paula Engel and Joanna Gentile, co-coaches of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School team. “The World Finals in Iowa will be an exceptional learning opportunity for our students because they will meet hundreds of students from all around the world and learn about various cultures.”