La Vernia Junior High School

La Vernia Odyssey of the Mind Team heads to the World Finals!

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment. Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential. OotM proves that students can have fun while they learn. 
          LV Odyssey formed 4 Odyssey of the Mind teams this year with students from LVISD. 1 High School team, 2 Jr. High teams, and 1 Intermediate team.  All 4 teams competed at the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament on March 4th at Legacy Middle School in East Central.  All 4 teams earned a spot to continue on to the State Tournament on April 8th in Houston at Waller High School to compete against all the top teams in Texas. 
          At the State Tournament, only the top 2 teams earn a chance to compete at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals tournament at Michigan State University.  Our most diverse LV Odyssey team, La Vernia Jr. High Problem 5: To Be Continued...A SuperHero Cliffhanger Division II, the team with students ranging from Kindergarten to the Jr. High age range, earned 2nd place out of 12 teams at the State Tournament in Houston, and are now eligable to compete at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals Tournament at Michigan State University May 24th-28th!  Not only did they earn 2nd place and secured a competing spot at the World Finals Tournament against teams from all over the world, but they were also awarded a special award called a Ranatra Fusca.  The Ranatra Fusca Award, named for the water strider insect, promotes and recognizes exceptional creativity. This award represents the essence of the Odyssey of the Mind program. The Ranatra Fusca Award is given to teams or individuals who display tremendous creativity at competition. This award serves as an incentive for risk-taking and out-of-the-box thinking for Odyssey participants.This award was presented to the Jr. High Problem 5: To Be Continued:..A SuperHero Cliffhanger team for their outstanding creativity, resourcefulness, and team work within their performance. The team created a waterfall made entirely of bottle lids that could roll up to create the effect of a drought, and roll back down to present a flowing waterfall, as well as, creating a realistic Tyrannosaurus-Rex fossil made completely out of recycled toilet paper rolls and a milk carton for the head. They also used unique and resourceful ideas to create their costumes and a humorous skit. These awards are only given to a handful of teams each year. This is quite an honor!
         The team is grateful to have had help from students and teachers at their campuses recycle different items for them, the support of LVISD,  and the generosity of community members that help them fundraise throughout the year to help fund their trip to the World Competition in May.  The team is looking forward to pin trading and watching teams from Japan, China, Poland, Pennsylvania, and other teams around the world compete. They love to see how other teams use interesting ideas and unusual recycled items to complete their solutions.  Their main goal a the the World Finals competition is to compete and earn a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place position so that they can be nationally recognized and bring home a gigantic Odyssey of the Mind trophy!  
Team photo 1- The team in their unique costumes prior to their performance in Houston.
Team photo 2- Austin Bean, Kynzlie Gaylor, Madison Sarsfield, and Zowie Gaylor set the stage for an adventurous trip through the Dinosaur Museum.
Team Photo 3- World Finalists (left to right) Kendalyn Bay 5th grade, Madison Sarsfield 6th grade, Kailey McCloskey 6th grade, Zowie Gaylor 5th grade, Kynzlie Gaylor kindergarten, Ella Hubert 4th grade, Austin Bean 6th grade, and Coach Amie Gaylor (teacher at the La Vernia Primary).
Team Photo 4- T-Rex Madison Sarsfield gets the judges ready to witness the most uncommon Villain Vs. SuperHero Waterfall battle of all time.