HARRINGTON — Seven W. T. Chipman Middle School students will soon find themselves going head-to-head against some of the world’s brightest kids.
Delaware Odyssey of the Mind teams that advanced from regionals to the state competition put their game faces on Saturday, March 25 in various buildings of the Appoquinimink School District in Middletown.
Lake Forest’s Program D, led by Coaches Abby Hansen and Todd Pope, took second place in the It’s Time, OMER Division II category, allowing them to advance to the world’s competition with other top Odyssey of the Mind participants in Delaware.
“They have to create the script, write it, perform it and create the sets and costumes all on their own,” she added. The team plans to only make a few changes to their “solution” when they take the problem to worlds May 24-29.
Ms. Hansen says every member on her team of seventh graders is different in their own ways, but they get along well and allow their unique niches to benefit the team.
“Odyssey of the Mind provides an extra-curricular activity for the students that allows them to tap into their creativity and work together as a team,” she said.
“The team has grown as a whole and the members have grown individually as well. They have learned to work together and build on one another’s strengths and never underestimate themselves. And the individuals have grown and done things they never thought they would. Several have stepped outside their comfort zone and tried new things. Some that were quiet and to themselves in the beginning have really come out of their shell and learned to speak up and make their voice heard.”
Ms. Hansen’s daughter, Destiny Hansen, is a member of the team. She said she most likes “being able to get close to people on my team and getting to be creative and outside the box. [And] being able to be myself without being judged by anyone.”
Besides earning a top spot in the state competition, the team must also raise $9,000 to send the team and its coach to the World Finals held this year at Michigan State University.
Fundraisers will help the team reach their destination such as a bake sale, paint night and raffle.
“As the coach, I am just extremely proud of these kids. They have put in a lot of time and effort to this and it’s nice to see it all pay off. It will be an amazing experience for all of us,” the second-year coach said. “I’m most looking forward to getting to see these students experience the World Finals experience and to get to see it through their eyes.”
Competing at the international level will also allow the students to experience other cultures, an aspect that Destiny said she is looking forward to the most.
Destiny will join Rece Pope, Chelsey Silver, Jacob Waddy, Jeremy Salerno, Josephine Ledford and Declan McGrellis for their team trip to Michigan.
Jennifer Antonik can be reached at email@example.com