Multiple Indian American Kids Find Their Place As Finalists For The Odyssey Of The Mind CompetitionApril 19, 2019 10:46
(Image source from: newsindiatimes.com)
Two elementary school teams from the North Edison, comprising of several Indian-American kids have reached the world’s finals stage of the Odyssey of the Mind competition. For those who aren’t aware of what the competition is about, it is technically a problem solving competition that includes students right from kindergarten till college. The competition is going to be held in the Michigan State University from May 22.
Following the neck to neck fight, the Edison Board of Education passed a unanimous decision on April 15th, 2019 congratulating the two teams, each comprising of 7 team members to make it through to the finals. The kids are from the Martin Luther Elementary School and are going to be taking part in the final rounds which will be held on the 22nd of next month.
There was an uproar of screams and cheers from the parents and fellow students congratulating the finalists once the announcements were made and declared readily.
The groups contain students from Grade 3-5 and the students in the finals include Annika Jeena, Aksh Doshi, Carter Williams, Chaitanya Palasamudram, Jay Chavan, Pranavi Ganti, Riya Lakhihal, Charlotte Dressel, Nitya Puli, Caleb Foo, Kaveesh Singh, Avika Shukla, Riti Sarje and Pranav Srinivasan, all of whom are residents of the Edison township.
The students will be coached and supported by Ruth Vogel and Kim Jackson, both of whom are part of the MLK Elementary School and also do volunteer as OM coaches for the students involved. They are going to accompany the students to Michigan next month.
In a conducted press release, Kim Jackson addressed saying that each one of the kids who are not in the finals have worked their way through and did come together to solve some of the predefined long term problem effectively. They have found effective ways to present the judges with an efficient solution altogether.
The Odyssey of Mind (OM) is a two part competition which includes solving a predefined long term problem along with a spontaneous portion by coming up with solutions to any of the problem that the kids have not seen or witnessed before.
The long term predefined problem often tends to take months to complete and does include and extensive amount of theatrical performance, construction as well as design. The same is not the case with the spontaneous problem because the same does occur the day of the competition itself.
The competition has been in effect since 1978 and each year attracts over 5000 schools and colleges from across 2 dozen countries across the globe.
Siz of the finalists including Aksh Doshi, Carter William, Chai Palasamudram, Jay Chavan, Pranavi Ganti and Riya Lakhihal have spent the majority of their school year trying to work and perfect the eight minute routine on the “Opposites Distract” problem. They have actively involved themselves in it, writing humorous scripts, building props, colourful costumes and so much more altogether. And the best and the most interesting part of this is the fact that they did so without any kind of adult help.
OM has been around for quite some time now and instills a sense of value, team work and better communication among the participants. This year, it is definitely a moment of pride for the Indians across the world because of the dominance of so many Indian American kids making it to the finals of the Odyssey of the Mind competition.
By Somapika Dutta