Greenville to host Odyssey of the Mind competition

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:43 am on Thursday, March 22, 2012

If you go …

What: Odyssey of the Mind
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday
Where: Greenville High School
Cost: Free and open to the public

Schools participating: Alto Elementary School, Baldwin Heights Elementary School, Belmont Elementary School, Breckenridge Community Schools, Cedar View Elementary Schools, Cannonsburg Elementary School, Cherry Creek Elementary School, Crestwood Elementary School, East Rockford Middle School, Evart High School, Evart Middle School, Farwell Elementary School, Farwell Middle School, Grattan Academy, Greenville Middle School, Kent City Elementary School, Lincoln Heights Elementary School, Lowell Middle School, MacNaughton Elementary School, Murray Lake Elementary School, North Rockford Middle School, Parkside Elementary School, Red Hawk Elementary School, Rockford High School, Roguewood Elementary School, Sand Lake Elementary School, Valley View Elementary School, Walker Charter Academy

GREENVILLE — Students of all ages will be using creativity, problem solving and teamwork this weekend for the Odyssey of the Mind Region 13 Tournament.

The tournament will take place at Greenville High School for the second year in a row.

“Odyssey of the Mind is an important program for students, especially in times of K-12 budget cuts,” said Korie Crawford, regional director. “It provides critical and creative thinking skills that are not always found in traditional school curriculum.”

According to, it is the oldest international creative problem-solving competition in the world among students of all ages from kindergarten through college.

“The purpose of Odyssey of the Mind is to promote creativity and problem-solving in a variety of areas from building mechanical devices and balsa wood structures to presenting dramatic and technical performance,” the website stated.

Crawford said the event teaches students through an “adult hands-off, kids hands-on approach,” which helps students gain confidence in themselves and their ability to solve problems on their own.

Jack Gilbert, assistant principal at Greenville Middle School, said by hosting the event, it provides heightened opportunity of participation for all of Greenville’s students.

“We have a very long and enjoyable history of involvement with Odyssey of the Mind,” Gilbert said. “This allows us to support the philosophy of the program that we so deeply embrace.”

Of the schools participating in the Region 13 Tournament, Greenville will be sending 13 teams; five from the middle school, five from Lincoln Heights Elementary and three from Baldwin Heights Elementary, Gilbert said.

Other districts include Kent City, Rockford, Breckenridge, Lowell, Farwell and Evart. He said various charters schools will compete as well.

“It is amazing and inspiring to see the creative ideas that young people can come up with when given the opportunity to solve open-ended problems without the intervention of adults,” Crawford said.”

Gilbert said the first team competes at 8 a.m. and the program is scheduled to end at 3 p.m.

“We strongly encourage the community to come in and watch these amazing creative thinkers,” Gilbert said.

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