Red Oak Middle School students won first place in The Odyssey of the Mind Coastal Region Tournament on March 10 in Jacksonville at Northside High School and Jacksonville Commons Middle School. They scored well in both the problem and in the spontaneous competition.
The Odyssey of the Mind program teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. They develop team-building skills by working in groups of as many as seven students per team.
Each year, five new competitive problems are presented for the teams to solve. These long-term problems are solved over weeks and months. Some of the problems are more technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance based. At the competition, the teams were given an on-the-spot “spontaneous” problem to solve. The Red Oak Middle OM team chose the problem “To Be or Not To Be.” The combination of long-term problem-solving, style, and spontaneous problem-solving produces a confident, able student.
Red Oak Middle team members are Amybeth Hoarty (eighth grade), Bryant Benitez (eighth grade), Cary Hoarty (seventh grade), Grace Viverette (seventh grade), Gretchen Blankenship (seventh grade), Sophia Rekeibe (seventh grade) and Dawson Wright (seventh grade).
Coaches are Laura Hoarty and Deborah Craft.