(Text by Reporter Gu Wu) On May 26, the 4-day final of the 39th Odyssey of the Mind was ended. The closing ceremony and awards ceremony of the competition were then held at Hilton Stadium of the University of Iowa of U.S. The team from Shanghai Daning International Elementary School won the first place in the final with a score of 30 points more than the runner-up, which was a huge advantage, and brought honor to China, Shanghai and Jing’an District. It is learned that it was the third champion trophy won by the school in recent 8 years in Odyssey of the Mind, surpassing most of other schools in Shanghai participating in the competition.
Odyssey of the Mind was a competition attracting the highest number of nations and contestants to participate in, mainly aiming to cultivate adolescents’ creativity. Shanghai Daning International Elementary School has won 3 champion trophies and one runner-up trophy in the competition. Speaking of the reason, headmaster Xu Xiaowei told the reporter that it mainly depended on the introduction of activities of Odyssey of the Mind into the curriculum as a universal course for it provided every student with the opportunity to know more about the competition. Meanwhile, the school also drafted students who had a great interest or did well in Odyssey of the Mind into a club, provided them with time specially for the course, and integrated courses including science, engineering, information and technology to impart knowledge and develop the skills of the students to let them use their hands and brains, which greatly improved their practical ability on innovation.
Nearly 900 teams from 14 countries and regions participated in the final of Odyssey of the Mind this year, among which there were more than 50 teams from primary schools, secondary schools and universities in China. The final consisted of 5 parts: Triathlon Travels in Vehicle category, Emoji, Speak for Yourself in Technical category, Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously? in Classics category, Animal House in Structure category and A Stellar Hangout in Performance category. 7 students from Shanghai Daning International Elementary School and 45 national and regional teams participated in the competition of primary groups in Animal House in structure category. There were two types of questions in the competition: long-playing type and improvisational type. The long-playing type of question asked the teams to turn their balsa wood structures into animals, and let the animals leave their houses by transforming the structure during an original performance. Meanwhile, the structure must withstand a test of strength to see how much weight it could support. With great team work, students from Shanghai Daning International Elementary School not only performed in a fun and humorous way, but also created a structure that could hold as much as 1,000 pounds. As a result, they got the highest score both in weight supporting and artistic performance. When answering the improvisational questions, the students went ahead steadily. Peng Yiting, the team leader, methodically controlled the pace and contents of information transmission, while other team members brainstormed to bravely find and try new ways to solve the problems. As a result, the team got a score as high as 98.86 (out of 100). In the end, the team from Shanghai Daning International Elementary School won the first place with a total score of 332 points, a huge lead over others.