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Going Outside the Box to try and get to Worlds

Students in Odyssey of the Mind program at Cato-Meridian Middle School are putting their minds to work for this year’s competition season.


This year, students are working hard on several creative problem-solving competitions, including several featuring balsa wood. Working with balsa wood is somewhat new to the students, but Odyssey of the Mind coordinator and coach Deb Harrigan said the students are working through the process well.


“It was a change for them. But they really took with it and have done really well,” said Harrigan.


Eighth graders Kaydence Morrissette and Nadia Dudley have been in Odyssey of the Mind since they were in third grade. Morrissette, who is working on the marionette dragon, said the competitions are her favorite part. Dudley, who is working on a balsa wood structure, said her favorite part is the people she gets to work with.


“The coaches are awesome. And we actually had the same team for the longest time. It wasn’t until this year that a few of our original team members decided they weren’t going to do Odyssey, but we still always have so much fun whenever we come,” said Dudley.


Harrigan said the skills the team learns year after year sticks with them beyond just competition season.


“I’ve had kids, including my own, come back and say it had a great impact on them and in other things they do. To have to take a problem and solve it on their own. They also learn about working together and working through a problem,” said Harrigan.


Last year the team did particular well and ended up going to worlds, something the team thinks they can do again. 

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