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Broome-Tioga BOCES Hosts Region’s ‘Odyssey Of The Minds’

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Nearly 700 students in K-12th grade participated in ‘Odyssey of the Mind’, a creative problem-solving competition on Saturday. The international competition has been a staple in New York State for 25 years.

Students throughout Broome County spent months creating sketches and other visual presentations to solve problems rooted in science, engineering, and communication. Jason Andrews, superintendent for the Windsor Central School District, said the competition is an important opportunity for students to think critically and creatively.

“When we look at 21st century learning skills of collaboration, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, it’s exactly the type of thing that employers are seeking. It’s the type of work that students will need to be able to do when they reach colleges or careers,” said Andrews.

Problems ranged from creating a ‘mockumentary’ of a classic story, to incorporating modern technology such as emojis into a work of drama. Teams constructed their own props, sets, and costumes using household materials. Andrews said students can benefit from what they learn outside of the classroom.

“Research is clear that students who participate in co-curricular activities are absolutely more successful in their regular core classwork,” said Andrews.

Because of its strong emphasis on creativity, students are encouraged to embrace each other’s strengths and abilities.  

“One of the great things about Odyssey of the Mind is that it gives students of all academic ability levels the opportunity to bring the skills that they have to a team and put those different things to use,” said Andrews. “It provides an equitable type of experience for all types of students.”