Friday, February 24, 2017

Pasco Students Begin Their Odyssey of the Mind

Who: 150 teams representing 55 Pasco County schools

What: Elementary and Secondary Odyssey of the Mind® Tournaments

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 25 (Secondary), 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4 (Elementary)

Where: February 25, Rushe Middle School, 18654 Mentmore Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes - March 4, Weightman Middle School, 30649 Wells Rd., in Wesley Chapel

Why: To teach students creative problem solving skills and teamwork.

How: Odyssey of the Mind® is a creative problem solving competition started in 1978 by Dr. Sam Miklus. Students indulge their creativity, think critically to solve new problems, and work as a team. Their teams are comprised of five to seven members and at least one coach. The coach(es) may teach skills, but may not disclose the problem’s solution. Their teams will compete in up to six different long term problems to determine advancement to the state tournament at the University of Central Florida on April 8. Performances take place between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days. On February 25, awards are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m., and on March 4, awards are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. At the awards ceremony, the Gulf Coast Regional Board will award four college scholarships to graduating seniors who spent eight to 12 years competing on Odyssey teams. Pasco students traditionally excel in these tournaments. Last year, students from Mittye P. Locke Elementary School, Wesley Chapel High School, Wiregrass Ranch High School, and Dayspring Academy won their state championship category and competed in the 37th Odyssey of the Mind® World Finals. These tournaments are open to the public. Maps and a complete schedule can be found at For more information, contact Freda Abercrombie, Gulf Coast Odyssey of the Mind® regional director, at 813-924-0850.