A team of Ridgefield fourth and fifth graders showcased a vehicle they built using parts of a tricycle and a hand cart to a group of judges and an audience at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven March 17.
The vehicle was driven forward and in reverse, scored a “curling” goal, hit alternate targets in a row, and was presented within a triathlon storyline complete with an ad break, a violin and melodica duet, and a witty commentator.
It all took place at the 2018 Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind state tournament, and this team placed second in it’s division’s vehicle-building problem. Team members are now headed to Iowa State University in May to compete against winning teams from other states and from countries around the globe in the 2018 World Finals, a first time for a Ridgefield Library team. The team members include Ridgefielders Anaiya Barnes from Veterans Park Elementary School, Rohan Connally from Wooster School, Kiril Volkov from Scotland Elementary School, and Rachel Fisher, Ethan Le, and Madison Pfeiffer, all from Farmingville Elementary School.
The other competitive Ridgefield Library team finished in sixth place out of 20 teams with its presentation of a mockumentary featuring two immortal characters from a Chinese epic who were brought to life in a library talk show, interested in learning about their secrets to longevity. The third team of first graders from Farmingville Elementary School debuted this year in the non-competitive division with a cooking show that included a cookbook stand and other items made of balsa wood, a stove, a refrigerator, and their own theme song. All the teams developed their solutions, characters, scripts, sets, and costumes by themselves without adult assistance.
The Odyssey of the Mind program, sponsored by Ridgefield Library since 2014, is a competitive international program that encourages problem-solving through divergent thinking.
Residents can be a part of the march to the global stage by donating to the world finalist team’s travel fund at gofundme.com/om-world-finals-ridgefield.
The fund will help the team ship its vehicle and other props to Iowa, and help offset competition and travel expenses.
To learn more about the program, visit odysseyofthemind.com or ctom.org.
For more information on forming Ridgefield Library teams and volunteering, email [email protected].