BAKER — Two of three north Okaloosa County teams going to a state competition next month to display their teamwork skills are from Baker School.
Brittany Rock, Victoria Voorhees, Adrian Smith, Blake Phillips, Hunter Carnley, Rage Lafata, Elizabeth Lukas, Jaclyn Tipton, Daniel Thornton, Nastya Bateyera, Kayleigh Patterson and Eileen Brown will represent two of 64 Odyssey of the Mind teams competing April 6 in Orlando.
Odyssey of the Mind — or OM — challenges students to work together and solve problems using critical thinking methods. Each team must select from one of five problems on odysseyofthemind.com. Options range from designing gadgets to performing a skit within a given period.
Rock, 18, and her team of mostly seniors must build a structure that can support a certain weight — using just balsa wood and glue.
"You can't solve the problem any ordinary way," she said. "It has definitely taught us to look at things from a different perspective."
The second team, which comprises younger high school students, must script a skit involving a documented architectural structure and at least two musical performances.
"During the play, there are three works of art that are stolen and are recovered by two characters," Thornton, 16, said.
In their journey, the characters must return the items to the rightful place, he said.
Both teams must write scripts, build sets, design costumes and build devices, should the problem require one.
Each member plays a role.
"We just have a list of things to do and everyone just picks something to work on," Lafata, 17, said.
Baker’s OM teams frequently participate in state competitions.
"They have been going to state probably since the ’90s," said kindergarten teacher Carol Hansford, a longtime club adviser and the Emerald Coast OM’s regional director.
In preparation for this year’s tournament, both teams’ members said they are meeting regularly to ensure their presentations stand scrutiny.
Students think their OM skills will pay off in the future.
"I always wanted to be an author, so thinking outside the box always helps," Tipton, 15 said. "Who wants to write a book with ideas somebody else has already used?
“This really helps me with what my career goals are."
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.