By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Geekspace Gwinnett Odyssey team to represent Georgia at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Dacula – GeekSpace Gwinnett Odyssey of the Mind team won first place at the Georgia Odyssey of the Mind State Finals Tournament which was held April 9, 2016 at Columbus State University, Columbus.

The World Finals, which will be held at Iowa State University from May 25 – 28, will host more than 800 teams from across the United States and 25 countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom will come together to showcase talented students’ creative minds.

This will be the second consecutive trip for the GeekSpace Gwinnett team (Makerspace). Last year the team took first place in the state and finished 4th out of 44 teams at the World competition and received the Ranatra Fusca Award, which is the tournament’s highest honor awarded for their exceptional creativity and risk-taking.

This year’s team members are from:

Mill Creek High School: Bailey Martinez-10th, Dani Williams-9th, Josh Bingham-9th

Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology: Kyle Patel-11th, Ben Breer-10th

Mountain View High School: Suraj Modi-9th

Marist High School: Lexi Bohm-10th

Coaches: Ben and Janie Martinez

Odyssey of the Mind is the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide. Millions of students from kindergarten through college have participated in the Odyssey of the Mind since its inception in 1979. Each team is faced with a long-term problem and a spontaneous challenge using concepts from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, while also incorporating the use of critical thinking skills, creativity imagination, and teamwork. Teams of five to seven students meet weekly for more than six months to develop solutions to one of five long-term problems in categories such as constructing a vehicle, creating a new take on a classic, building a balsa wood structure, and solving a mechanical dilemma. The solution is presented in the form of an eight-minute performance.

This team chose to compete in the “No-Cycle Recycle" vehicle category. Working throughout the school year, they designed and built a vehicle, props for their two eco-systems all for an eight-minute performance. Scoring was largely based on creativity, engineering and risk-taking behind the propulsion systems and transforming objects. Since September this team has committed long Saturdays to design and build their solution, putting their creative problem solving talents to the test and leveraging a multitude of advanced skills along the way (3D Printing, Welding, Electron-ics/Soldering, CNC, AutoCAD, etc.) all of which were incorporated into an 8-minute performance that amazed judges and spectators alike. The team of seven had to do everything themselves from scratch, starting with researching, brainstorming, writing the entire script while incorporating various elements, to designing, making and constructing their vehicle, costumes, and props.

To learn more about the Odyssey of the Mind go to www.odysseyofthemind.com, www.georgiaodyssey.org/ or contact Coaches Ben and Janie Martinez at geekspaceodyssey@gmail.com.