WESTFALL TWP. - Delaware Valley School District has seven teams - the most from any school district in Pennsylvania - advancing to the the Odyssey of the Mind 2018 World Finals in Iowa in May.
The DVSD teams competing in the 39th annual international contest May 23-26 at Iowa State University include: Delaware Valley High School technical and vehicle teams; Delaware Valley Middle School technical, vehicle and structure teams; Shohola Elementary School vehicle team; and Dingman-Delaware Elementary School theatrical team. These teams moved on from the Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind state championships on April 7, when the DVHS and DVMS technical teams each won first place in their problem-category divisions and the other five teams each won a second-place finish in their groupings.
First and second place winners in the state championships earn the opportunity to compete in the World Finals. The worldwide contest will involve about 6,000 students from the U.S. and foreign countries, such as China, Germany, India, Poland, Singapore and South Korea.
A K-12 extracurricular program, Odyssey of the Mind is a team-based, creative, problem-solving competition.
Five problem categories include technical, vehicle, structure, theatrical and classics. Each category has three divisions: elementary, middle and high school. Student teams, typically each with seven members, work together to accomplish certain tasks and solve specific problems, all done within the context of a skit and an 8-minute time limit. Teams of adult judges score the performances on various factors, including whether tasks are successfully completed and the creativity in devising and executing solutions.
Along with applying various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) skills, participants also learn teamwork and build confidence through public presentations and speaking. The DVSD students have worked for months on solving their problems and creating and honing their performances. They began in the fall and first competed in the Odyssey of the Mind Northeast Regional Tournament in March. First and second place winners in the regional competition advanced to the state tournament.
Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind has six regions: Northeast, Southeast, East Central, North Central, West Central and Western. Of the 178 teams that competed in the state championships, 33 are moving on to the world finals.
The 11-county Northeast Region encompasses Pike, Wayne, Monroe, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford, Carbon, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.
DVSD's seven teams going to World Finals are the most from any school district in Pennsylvania. The next closest, with four teams moving on to the World Finals, is the Owen J. Roberts School District from Chester County in the East Central Region.
Three other Northeast Region teams also are advancing to the world finals, including two from Pocono Mountain School District in Monroe County and one from Abington Heights School District in Lackawanna County.