Corbin High School’s Odyssey of the Mind teams are among the world’s best after competing in the 40th World Finals in Lansing, Michigan, recently.
The school system sent five teams to the event, including two high school teams, an alumni team made up of college students, and a middle school team.
“Odyssey of the Mind rules allow a team to compete under a college or organization’s name. The Corbin Music Alumni allowed a team to compete using its name,” said James Cornn, Coordinator for Corbin Schools Odyssey of the Mind Program.
In all, 22 Corbin students competed. The Corbin Music Alumni Association team finished tied for second in its division.
One of the Corbin High School teams finished fifth in its division, which challenged it to recreate some of master artist Leonard Da Vinci’s greatest works,
including the Mona Lisa, and Lady with an Ermine, using unconventional mediums.
The students’ efforts with chewed gum, zip ties, and soap that had been grated, curled and blended to bring the art works to life so impressed the judges, that the CHS team was one of four to leave Lansing with the Rantra Fusca Award, which is given to team that display outstanding creativity in the solution to the problem they are working.
“The judges have to see something that was high risk or extremely creative,” Cornn said adding the award was certainly unexpected.
This was the same team that finished was returning to the world competition after finishing fourth in its division in 2018.
The top six teams in each division are recognized at the awards ceremonies.
“To be recognized at the awards ceremony is a really big deal,” Cornn said.
In addition to the problem solving, each team had to present their solution in an 8-minute skit.
The teams were each thrown one final curveball as they were then sent into a room to develop a solution to a spontaneous problem given to them by the judges.
Cornn said the high school teams are at the level they, recenlty are because of the experience of several members who have been part of the program since elementary school.
“Just like anything, good feeder program created great high school programs,” Cornn said. “We are really lucky to have multiple students who got excited about Odyssey of the Mind, liked it and stuck with it. They have really excelled at high school level.”
In addition, Cornn said the program has several dedicated coaches including Nicole Brock and April Laun at the high school level, and Karen and Kamille Smith at the middle school.
“So blessed and thankful…what a tremendous Odyssey Season – all four teams represented Corbin so well,” Brock said on her Facebook page.