Abby Reinke Elementary School’s “Not-So-Haunted House” took 1st Place at the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament!
Temecula, CA, April 8, 2014 – For the second year in a row, a team of students from Abby Reinke Elementary School in Temecula has won first place at the Odyssey of the Mind California State Championship, held on April 5 in Brentwood (Northern California). The “Not So Haunted House” team competed against 24 other teams in their age division from across the state and finished with the highest overall score. The top two winning teams from each division and problem will now go on to compete at the World Finals event at Iowa State University.
Odyssey of the Mind is an internationally recognized program for elementary through college age students. The program teaches students to learn problem solving skills in a trial and error process emphasizing creativity, imagination and “thinking outside the box.” This extra-curricular program also focuses on teamwork and identifying and addressing challenges as they arise – skills that students will use throughout their lives.
The “Not So Haunted House” team was given the specific problem of designing a “haunted house” with four special effects, each with separate operating mechanisms, that are intended to scare but instead elicit different reactions. The haunted house and special effects are introduced and operated within the constraints of an 8-minute skit written and performed solely by the students. The winning team is comprised of six students: a fifth grader, a fourth grader, and four third graders. Remarkably, this is the first time that these students have worked together on a competitive Odyssey team. In February, the team finished in 1st place at the Coastal Regional Tournament in Oceanside, advancing to the State Championship in northern California. Last year, the “Pet Project” Odyssey team from Abby Reinke, comprised of six different students, also won 1st place at the State Championship and traveled on to World Finals.
Abby Reinke Elementary is currently the only school within the Temecula Valley School District offering the volunteer-run Odyssey of the Mind program. With school budgets continuing to be tight, the “Not So Haunted House” team will be fundraising and seeking sponsorships to raise the roughly $20,0000 required to transport the team, coaches, and their props to the Odyssey of the Mind’s 35th World Finals. The event will take place from May 28-31 at Iowa State University. The student team, along with their three coaches, are thrilled with their recent success, and look forward to representing their school, the city of Temecula, and the state of California. They will be recognized, and will present the State Championship trophy to their school, during a morning assembly this Friday, April 11, at Abby Reinke Elementary. 43799 Sunny Meadows Drive, Temecula.