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2013 Odyssey of the Mind Competition

On Thursday, May 23, the Odyssey of the Mind competition took place on the campus of Michigan State University and included a team from J Michael Lunsford Middle School (JML MS) located in Chantilly, VA.  Caitlin Kho-Knee, daughter of Kim Kho-Knee, director of licensing and compliance at International Launch Services (ILS), was one of the team members from the middle school.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program whose mission is to provide creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.  Founded by Dr. C. Samuel Micklus in 1978, the competition receives teams from the US as well as more than 20 other countries around the world.  Each year six problems are developed by Dr. Micklus and his son.  

Teams of seven register and choose a problem to solve.  Competing at both regional and state levels, teams are scored based on (1) their ability to solve a long-term problem, (2) how they solve spontaneous problems that may arise while trying to solve the larger problem at hand, and (3) style. Winners from each state then move on to the World Championship to compete against other teams from countries such as China, Poland, Russia and Japan.  

The JML MS team chose the “Pet Project” challenge, which directed them to design and build three vehicles that delivered parts to an assembly area.  A signal had to be created to let the audience know which vehicle was about to travel and all of the delivered parts had to assemble into a pet animal.  Once built, the animal had to perform a trick.

ILS donated $250 to the J. Michael Lunsford Middle School team which helped pay for travel expenses and registration fees. The team tied for 15th place out of 56 teams.  This year the winning team was Osborne Middle School from Hoschton, Georgia.

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