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OOTM Community Demonstration Set for March 8

Third graders Celia Rogers (left) and Faith Azzam (right) are busy preparing for their first Odyssey of the Mind competition, which will begin with a community demonstration at the State Street School on March 8 at 6 p.m. (Kelley McQuiggan photo)
SKANEATELES, NY (March 1, 2017) – A total of 10 teams from Skaneateles Central Schools will once again be competing in the Odyssey of the Mind regional competition held at the Cayuga-Onondaga County BOCES campus on Saturday, March 11.  To prepare for the competition and showcase their projects, all 10 teams will conduct a community demonstration in the State Street School gymnasium on Wednesday, March 8 beginning at 6 p.m.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving competition that teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests.  Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve the problems at hand.
Skaneateles Central School teams in Odyssey of the Mind are open to students in grades 3-12, and consist of seven members per team.

The March 11 regional competition will see Skaneateles students compete against other teams from school districts that comprise the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES department.  Winners from the regional competition will then move on to the New York State competition to be held in Binghamton, NY on April 8.

Teams placing first or second in the state level competition will then be invited to take part in the world competition in May at Michigan State University.  Since 1982, sixteen Skaneateles teams have advanced to the world competition, with two first place champions.

While Odyssey of the Mind is focused around competition, Skaneateles Central School’s Kelley McQuiggan says there is so much more to the program.

“In October a group of seven individuals come together with a problem and by March they have become a group of seven teammates with a solution,” said McQuiggan.  “During the journey of this competition so many life skills are gained from problem solving and cooperation, to teamwork and kindness.  It is pretty amazing that what is asked of our teams of students is what adults struggle with in real world situations.”

The 10 Skaneateles Central School teams (eight from State Street School, one from the Middle School, and one from the High School) were formed in October and have been working on their problems since.  Meeting one to two times per week to prepare, solutions for the problems are devised totally by the team members.

Teams are coached by volunteer parents and teachers, but all work is hands-on for kids and hand-off for adults.

Each year Odyssey of the Mind provides a set of problems for teams to take on.  This year’s problems are titled “Catch Us If You Can”, “Odd-a-Bot”, “It’s Time, OMER”, “Ready, Set, Balsa, Build”, and “To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger.”

Specific descriptions of the problems can be found online at

Students will have an opportunity to run through their problems for the community to view on Wednesday, March 8 in the State Street School Gym at 6 p.m.  A detailed listing of the demonstrations is below.

Keep in touch with events and happenings in relation to the Skaneateles Central School District by visiting online at or following the district’s Facebook page at

Odyssey of the Mind 2017 Skaneateles Community Demonstration
Wednesday, March 8
6:00-8:10 p.m.
Location: State Street School Gym

6:00 PM       A Super Hero Cliffhanger
Mrs. McQuiggan
Mrs. Rigling

6:13 PM       Catch Us If You Can
Mr. Rogers
Mrs. Herr

6:26 PM       It's Time, OMER     
Mr. Andrews
Mrs. Little

6:39PM        Ready, Set, Balsa, Build!
Mrs. Barnes
Mrs. Carroll

6:52 PM       A Super Hero Cliffhanger
Mrs. Persampieri

7:05 PM       Odd-A-Bot
Mr. Bell
Mrs. Major

7:18 PM       It's Time OMER      
Mr. Marshall

7:31PM        Catch Us If You Can
Mrs. Dunphy
Mrs. Harvey

7:44 PM       A Super Hero Cliffhanger
Mrs. Scott

7:57 PM       It's Time OMER
Mrs. Ryan
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Lynda Quick
45 East Elizabeth Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152