Abington Heights, St. Gregory’s teams make Odyssey of the Mind state finals

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Six teams from the Abington Heights School District and one from The Church of Saint Gregory advanced to the Odyssey of the Mind State Finals at Pocono Mountain East April 7.

Seven-hundred students from 40 teams went head-to-head at the Northeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament on March 17 at Pocono Mountain West High School.

Thirty-seven teams from 21 area schools will compete at the state finals.

The NEPA region includes Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

Nearly 200 teams from across the state will compete for the opportunity to advance to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, which will be at Iowa State University in May. Seven NEPA teams competed at World Finals last year.

NEPA Odyssey of the Mind is an entirely not-for-profit program administered by the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Creativity Unlimited in Pennsylvania. The tournament is coordinated and officiated entirely by volunteers.

The program emphasizes teamwork and quick thinking while giving K-12 students an outlet to nurture and showcase a variety of skills.

This year’s long-term problems range from designing and building a vehicle to complete tasks in a triathlon to performing a team-created mockumentary of a classic literary story. Teams also received a secret challenge on the day of the tournament called a spontaneous problem, which they had to solve on the spot.

Students started their journey in the fall when they formed teams and received their long-term problems, ranging from engineering to theatrical performance in nature. The teams spent the school year developing an eight-minute performance to present their solutions.

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