Odyssey of the Mind 2016
The SOTA OM team at the World Finals in Ames, Iowa.
SOTA participated in Odyssey of the Mind (OM) for the first time this year, taking on Problem #3 "Classics... Aesop Gone Viral" in Division III. Problem #3 was based on Classical Mythology and demanded a theatrical performance, including drama, singing, dancing, and set and costume design.
The team consisted of nine Year 4 students, with seven in the main team, Lee Zheng Justin, Marcus Chiau, Jerome Wang Jie Rui, Tan Ning Ci Caitlin, Jasmine Ong, Shanil Lee-Basnayake and Cheryl Soh, and two as understudies, Gail Gay and Phoebe Ka-Yan Leong. Though the registration for OM 2016 opened last October, SOTA only registered in end January this year and had limited preparation time before the National Finals in April. The team was placed second at the National Finals and subsequently competed in the World Finals at Iowa State University from 25 – 28 May 2016, emerging 13th out of 37 teams.
Read Caitlin Tan’s reflection on her experience at OM below:
Odyssey of the Mind – The SOTA Pioneer Team’s Journey
Written by Caitlin Tan, B7
Odyssey of the Mind, commonly known as OM, is an annual problem-solving competition aimed at fostering creativity and the spirit of discovery amongst students worldwide, and our experience with it has been both valuable and enriching. To us, the lessons lie not in the final performance, but in the process of getting there. Having only joined this programme and the nationals competition at the end of January as an untested team, we had to band together in order to get ourselves up to the competition standard. Being the pioneer team, there was no precedent to follow, and we learnt to adapt quickly to the demands of this programme. It was challenging, and the stress of preparing for the competition did get to us at times. However, we did pull through and advanced to the World Finals, which was held in June 2016 at Iowa State University, USA. Looking back on our early days as a team, and comparing it to today, we believe that the long days spent together and the shared experiences bonded us more closely as a team. Furthermore, learning to handle pressure and working so closely with each other has helped us mature as individuals.
The OM program encourages innovation and exploration, and we believe that it has expanded our artistic horizons. Being SOTA students, we tend to strive towards a very refined style of ‘art’, and sometimes forget that art can be about amusement too. Though Odyssey of the Mind’s artistic conventions may seem silly at times, in reality, it demands skill, creativity and wit to execute. We strive for unexpected, unique, and humorous performances and sets, and are constantly tested creatively and artistically.
At the end of the day, OM is not only a chance to have fun, but also a learning experience. To quote our coach Ms. Sandy Leow, “OM aims to give back to its students as well”. Once you put your heart to it, you will find yourself stretched in all sorts of ways, and growing as a person. This philosophy is at the heart of Odyssey of the Mind, and we hope it can serve as a guiding value for future SOTA OMers.
SOTA OM Team:
Lee Zheng Justin (B7)
Marcus Chiau (B8)
Jerome Wang Jie Rui (B7)
Tan Ning Ci Caitlin (B7)
Jasmine Ong (B7)
Shanil Lee-Basnayake (B3)
Cheryl Soh (B7)
Gail Gay (B2)
Phoebe Ka-Yan Leong (B6)