TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Odyssey of the Mind is a worldwide program focused on critical thinking and long-term problem solving skills. Students from kindergarten all the way to college level can join the program.
Esperero Canyon Middle School teacher and Odyssey of the Mind coach Tiffanie Bialis says, “the kids are given a budget for each problem and then they have to come up with everything they need within that budget to create and produce their 8 minute solution.”
The middle school has one team that has qualified for the world competition.
There they will perform their skit that is focused on the environment. “So this team really did a nature focus because we have a lot of kids on this team that are passionate about nature and protecting the environment,” says Bialis.
But the skills they learn go far beyond a competition. Bialis says, “they gain public speaking skills. They gain critical thinking skills.”
Eighth grade student Ethan Bialis says the program lets him, “build teamwork skills and be really creative and just lets me be me around other people.”
For one other student, it’s a family affair. Arianna DuPont says, “my mom actually really motivated me to try it out also because she had done it as a kid.”
The world competition is set to be held in Iowa next month.
Heidi Alagha is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Heidi spent 5 years as the morning anchor in Waco where she was named the best anchor team by the Texas Associated Press. When Heidi isn’t working, she loves to watch movies, hang out with her dog Louie, and visit family. Heidi is also bilingual. She speaks Arabic. Heidi is very excited to be calling Tucson her new home and can’t wait to explore all the wonderful places Tucson has to offer. Share your story ideas and important issues with Heidi by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.