ROSWELL, Ga. — The Queen of Angels Catholic School Odyssey of the Mind middle school team won the world championship this summer at the World Championship Finals in East Lansing, Mich.
Odyssey of the Mind is a problem-solving competition for 7-member teams that are given a problem and judged based on creativity, their ability to solve the problem and their ability to work together as a team. The World Finals, typically held on the campus of Michigan State or Iowa State universities, feature teams that have won state or regional competitions.
The team competed against teams from other states and other countries including China, Poland, South Korea and Mexico. After three days of competition, the team was announced the winner of the Problem #4 Structure Toss at the Michigan State Breslin Center.
The team’s problem was to build a tower made of less than 15 grams of balsa wood strands, see how much weight they could stack on top of it in 8 minutes, build a set, write and present a skit that accurately relayed specific messages.
Team members were able to stack 970 pounds on top of their 15-gram structure within the allotted 8 minutes. While it didn’t count for points after the allotted time, the group continued stacking and ultimately supported 1,230 pounds –30 pounds shy of the world record – on their structure.
The team’s overall score put them as the top team in the world for the number II middle school division.
The team, coached by Roswell resident Brenda Smith, started working on their program in fall of 2018, won the regional competition, went on to win the state competition April 15 and were announced World Champs May 25.