Thinking outside the box: Odyssey of the Mind heads to Regionals

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Thinking outside the box: Odyssey of the Mind heads to Regionals

Rehat Singh, Editor-in-Chief

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Odyssey of the Mind can be described in one word: wow. At least, that’s what any outsider would think when they enter room D-17 between the hours of 2:30-7 PM.

A collaborative and creating thinking based club, the Sayreville Odyssey of the Mind chapter has over 30 members, all separated into five teams, or problems. At the beginning of October, teams are given a five-page packet detailing their assigned problem, as each problem has a separate entity about them. There is a series of criteria that is to be met, as the judges will assess the projects that the teams make on Saturday, March 9th.

Fully equipped with supplies and working space, with the generosity of Ms. McCabe, some of SWMHS’s most creative students put in the long hours to create something out of the box, and something that would make anyone say wow.

From balsa wood structures to Rube Goldberg machines, to cardboard cats made of hundreds of cotton balls, and to “fur-tastic” puns, the Sayreville Odyssey of the Mind chapter is gearing up for next Saturday. Going head-to-head with longtime rival, JP Stevens High School, the competition will be held in John Adams Middle School in Edison, an unnerving contrast to last year’s competition, which was held at SWMHS.

Despite the half-hour truck drive to the home of their longtime rivals, there was a dose of optimism in every team.

From Problem 4, Saaim Khan (9) and Rishit Vijay (9) gave their insight as first years. “It was a very positive experience overall,” started Rishit. “It’s really been a blast working for my team. We get work done but have fun at the same time.”

Saaim had a similar view: “We do everything collaboratively, and even though there are still some things left to do, I definitely think we’ll make it to states.”

Regionals, states, worlds. Not many Sayreville OM teams can boast about the latter, as only first and second place get to move on to states. Notwithstanding such results, Richard Brown (11) was confident about Saturday.

Indeed a veteran, this is Richard’s sixth year in the club. His problem required him to build a vehicle. Yes, you heard that right, an actual vehicle. As a human AutoZone, Richard has done the vehicle problem ever since he first came onto the club. Naturally having more responsibilities than a freshman, Richard had a slightly different view towards the impending competition day.

“It’s honestly kind of stressful,” Richard began, “because there’s a lot of designs, and many of them actually end up failing.”

Richard’s vehicle problem requires him to build it in such a way that it can perform three tasks during a small play. Naturally leaning towards engineering, Richard took care of the vehicle while the rest of his teammates prepared the play, script, backdrop and costumes. While there is a five-page packet dictating most of the aspects of every problem, there is plenty of room for the creative aspect.

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Thinking outside the box: Odyssey of the Mind heads to Regionals