The team of students from Linden Hill Elementary School participating in the Odyssey of the Mind event held at Highlands Elementary School Wednesday arguably put on the best demonstration of preparation, teamwork and confidence.
The students from this Red Clay school in Pike Creek said that was simply because they had the benefit of having performed this “In Your Dreams” skit before in the comfortable confines of Linden Hill. Hence, while some of the other student teams may have fumbled about at times, team Linden Hill looked like old pros in comparison as they took on their technical problem and tried to come up with a solution, per Odyssey rules.
“The first time it was kind of challenging for us,” Linden Hill’s Aditya Saripalli said. “But since last time and got used to it was kind of easier for us.”
The international educational program known as Odyssey of the Mind provides creative, problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics or creating their own, original performance.
With Saripalli, Linden Hill classmates Anagha Gummadivalli, Shivam Bhavsar, Maanas Gupta, Dhruv Hulbatte and Shivani Shah took on the challenge of working together to come up a script in which they depict a dream where children were playing catch but a monster showed up to turn the dream into a nightmare. The skit included a homemade monster and a house, with the gymnasium floor serving as the make believe yard out front.
Among other things, students had to ensure their voices carried and that the audience understood what was going on.
“We have to talk loudly,” Gummadivalli said.
In addition to acoustics, students learned to work as a team, Hulbatte said.
“We found out that you have to learn from your mistakes and improve what you should do,” he said.
“We learned teamwork and teamwork is important everywhere in life pretty much,” Gupta said.
The team’s coaches, composed of Shishir Shah, Vinay Hulbatte and Surya Saripalli, were happy with Linden Hill’s performance. All three men were the fathers of the three of the students.
“It was a journey for both the kids and the coaches,” Shah said. “Slowly and steadily, they learned the valuable lessons. I think it was a great experience for the kids.”
Hulbatte said the best part of Odyssey of the Mind was in watching the students take full responsibility for the project, even if they stumbled along the way at times.
“The coaches are there just to define the boundary and the framework around which the kids have to work,” he said. “They are getting up and learning.”
Page 2 of 2 - In addition, the students taught their coaches a thing or two, Saripalli said.
“We had some technical issues and they still wanted to perform,” he said. “Sticking together, they worked hard and prepared all these things.”
The Odyssey of the Mind event was held Wednesday evening at Highlands Elementary School as part of the Red Clay Consolidated School District’s effort to expand its participation in the internationally-recognized program, Red Clay Public Information Officer Pati Nash said.
This year, 12 of Red Clay’s 15 elementary schools have OM teams, up from four last year.
Red Clay Superintendent Dr. Mervin Daugherty thanked the parents who participated in the Odyssey program because the teams could not exist without them.