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LFMS takes second at regional tournament

POSTED: April 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.
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Members of the Lewis Frasier Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team pose for a picture after the competition.

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A little, balsa wood tee that held a golf ball and 40 pounds of other weights has earned a team from Lewis Frasier Middle School a berth in a state competition.
It's the first year the school has had an Odyssey of the Mind team. But eighth graders Ronald Barnes, Tyler Rentz and Khadijah Sykes, seventh graders Kendra Baker and Jeremy Corwin and sixth graders Brandon Cullom and Dylan Thomas won second place the regional tournament in Savannah on March 1. Team coaches are teachers Rodney Powers and Alainna Newman.
The second place qualified the team for state finals in Columbus on April 19.
Team members spent the entire day at Jenkins High School, meeting students from all over the southeast part of the state, buying souvenirs, and winning four cakes in a cakewalk.
Odyssey of the Mind is a national competition, in which teams pick one of five "long-term problems" to solve creatively. They present the solution in a skit. The team that comes up with the best solution gets the most points. Teams also have to solve a short, spontaneous problem that they are not prepared for.
The adult coaches offer support and guidance but the entire solution is designed and built by students.
The LFMS team picked the "Tee Structure" as their long-term problem. The problem is to use the light wood to build a structure that is at least eight inches high and weighs no more than eight grams (about the weight of two paper clips). The wood structure must hold golf balls, and progressively heavier weights are placed on top of the golf balls. LFMS's structure held 40 pounds, earning the second place.
Besides designing and building the structure, the team wrote a skit and built a set related to their theme of the importance of being honest. Their structure represented trust, which was broken by the weight of the lies the main character told friends.
The team also reportedly scored highest of all others at the regional meet on the spontaneous problem.
The team is now preparing for state, rebuilding the structure, hoping to greatly increase the weight it will hold, and rewriting the skit.
There are World Finals, if they win at state.
To learn more about Odyssey of the Mind check out www.odysseyofthemind.com or http://www.georgiaodyssey.org.

 

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