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Osborne students are Odyssey world champs

Special Photo A group of Osborne Middle students recently took home world championship trophies during the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University.

Special Photo A group of Osborne Middle students recently took home world championship trophies during the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University.

HOSCHTON -- A group of Osborne Middle School students recently took home world championship titles during an international educational competition which asked young people to "think outside the box."

The creative extravaganza was held recently on the Michigan State University campus, where more than 825 teams from around the country and around the world shared ideas and work, but only a handful left with trophies,

"It was amazing to see them compete," said Janie Martinez, an Osborne Odyssey coach and mother of one of the players. "They've put so much into the work they've done."

And what might Odyssey of the Mind work entail?

According to the official Odyssey of the Mind website, the competition "teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems."

The Osborne team chose to compete in the "Pet Project" vehicle category. Working throughout the school year, the team designed, built and ran three vehicles.

The group also designed a "pet animal," which performed tricks. In addition, the Osborne kids designed and built a signal that let the audience know which vehicle was about to travel and deliver the part.

While scoring was based largely on creativity, engineering and design, the overall performance, said Martinez "capture the attention of competitors, judges and spectators alike."

Competing for the Osborne team were Bailey Martinez, Ben Breer, Caroline Littleon, Emma Beguhn, Kayleigh Taillefer-Prussak, Kyle Patel and Richie Perry. Team coaches were Janie and Ben Martinez.

Throughout the competitions students develop team-building skills -- according to the website -- by working in groups of as many as seven students, while learning to examine problems and "identify the real challenge without limiting the possible solutions and their potential success."

While competing, the "creative-thinking process is nurtured and developed as a problem-solving tool."

For more information about Odyssey of the Mind, visit www.odysseyofthemind.com.