Rockford teams took plenty of wins in regional competition March 19 at Greenville Middle School. Rockford sent 24 competitive teams
and five primary teams—grades kindergarten through second, non-competitive. Advancing to state finals on April 16 at Davenport University are the following. In Division I are the following teams that took first place: Cannonsburg Elementary School Team A, Belmont Elementary School and North Rockford Middle School Team B. Advancing after a second-place win is Roguewood Elementary School Team B. Advancing after a third-place win are Roguewood Elementary School Team A and Cannonsburg Elementary School Team B. Advancing after a fourth-place win is Valley View Elementary School Team A.
In Division II, North Rockford Middle School Team A took first, East Rockford Middle School Team B took second and North Rockford Middle School Team C took third.
In Division III, Rockford High School took first place.
Teams that placed—honorable mention—but will not advance are Crestwood Elementary School, East Rockford Middle School Team A, North Rockford Middle School Team B, Roguewood Elementary School Team B, Crestwood Elementary School and East Rockford Middle School.
Four Rockford teams and one Rockford parent also received special awards. John Merchun received an Outstanding OMer award for his volunteering positive attitude. Cannonsburg Elementary School Team B received an Outstanding OMer award for their problem-
solving under pressure. North Rockford Middle School Team A received the Coveted Ranatra Fusca award for outstanding creativity, and Roguewood Elementary School Team A received the Ranatra Fusca award for outstanding creativity in their performance.
The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems—great and small—for a lifetime. The Odyssey of the Mind 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 those problems. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking “outside of the box.”
Odyssey organizer Linda Blackmore said, “Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. Rockford is working to challenge our students to solve problems and, judging by the creativity and sportsmanship shown by all 29 teams, I would say we are headed toward sucessfully achieving this goal.”
State finals will see 11 of these teams advancing to Davenport University on April 16.