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School News
0429 LIFE WLA Team 2
World Language Academy champions with their medals, from left, are: Sofia Moreno, Carragan Moody, Lydia Ebbs, Sarah Catherine Willard, Zoey Blankenship, Kennedy Turpin and Julianna Velaj.

Two local teams — one from World Language Academy and one from Davis Middle School — placed first in their respective divisions at the State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament on April 6. As a result, both have qualified for the World Finals on May 21-26 at Michigan State University.

The WLA competition problem was “the email must go through.” The seven team members had to design and build an email system, including intake, server, spam filter and outtake that would deliver to three distinct physical locations.

This device was incorporated into a 7-minute production where students wrote a script, created the costumes and told the story of three emails’ journey to two planned destinations and one off beat location because of the email being diverted by the spam filter. Team members were: fifth-graders Sarah Catherine Willard, Kennedy Turpin, Lydia Ebbs and Carragan Moody; and fourth-graders Zoey Blankenship, Julianna Velaj and Sofia Moreno.

The C.W. Davis team participated in the structural engineering problem called “Tumble Wood.” The team designed and built a 15-gram structure that had to slide down a ramp, travel 18 inches and then be placed on a testing device for strength. At the same time, the team had to perform a skit in 8 minutes. The Davis structure held 920 pounds before breaking, which set a new record weight for the state of Georgia in all age categories. Davis team members were seventh-graders Mac Arendall, Hannah Lee, Emily Shewbert and Misa Suh; and eighth-graders Jordan Keller, Michaela Stubbs and Ali Winiesdorffer.

The purpose of Odyssey of the Mind is to provide creative problem-solving opportunities for everyone and foster original and divergent thinking. The Odyssey of the Mind program promotes creativity by challenging teams to solve divergent problems, with more than one solution.

By working in teams, participants learn teamwork, the appreciation and understanding of others, and a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual. Teams develop a sense of self-respect and respect for others through activities such as brainstorming and role playing.

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