Thanks to my good friend Ganesh,  a couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to participate in Odyssey of the Mind, regional event held in Sterling in the capacity of Judge for the problem #3 – “Le Tour Guide”. Man! want an experience it was. I was completely thrilled and thoroughly enjoyed.

I was part of the long term problem judging team for this portion of the event, and the event lasted pretty much the whole day. It was a bit tiring but the performances by the kids of Middle and High School ages kept me completely captivated! The creativity and the quality of the performance exhibited by these kids is unbelievable. There were a few teams that needs some improvement, but most of the teams came well prepared and vying for win. It was so difficult to chose the winners, but when concluded all of us were in agreement with the winning picks.

I wish I could write more about these teams and post some pics, but unfortunately as Judge I did not have opportunity to take any pictures. However one of the exhibits that I clearly remember and stood a cut above the others was from Harpers Park Middle School kids. They portrayed a trip to Potato Museum in IOWA. It was very funny, very artistic and they even had a song and dance.

For those who read this ( I sure hope somebody does! ) my advise is – if you have kids please give them an opportunity participate in either the  Odyssey of the Mind or First Lego League (FLL, FRC or FTC). These are wonderful programs to foster creativity, curiosity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). I have been coaching FLL team for over two years now and am more comfortable with that program. I probably will not be coaching a OM team any time soon, but certainly will return to the even in some capacity.

If you want more information on any of these programs here are a few links –

http://www.odysseyofthemind.com

http://www.usfrist.org

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