Earlier this month, 14 fourth- and fifth-grade students from Sarah R. Smith Elementary School in Buckhead competed in the Odyssey of the Mind (OoTM) 2008 World Finals Tournament at the University of Maryland. The competition is offered to students in third grade through college and provides them an opportunity to demonstrate their global creative problem solving skills.

“Odyssey of the Mind builds leaders of the future — leaders who work with teams to solve problems creatively with limited resources,” said Abby McKinnon, who created the OoTM program at the school.

This year, the Sarah Smith OoTM World Finals participants divided into two teams each made up of seven students. Cameron Galvani, Mary Menk, Rob Lowery, Caroline Stevens, Evan Soggs, Jake Soggs and Sasha Soggs made up “The Eccentrics!” and competed in a problem that involved writing and performing a skit, creating sets and props and making costumes. The “Road Rally” team included Peter Ellis, Joe Johnson, Jack Ligon, Hughes Moffett, Joe Oliver, Alec Rogers and Grant Williams, who designed and built a human-powered vehicle that performed specific OoTM tasks in a technical challenge.

Additionally, members of Sarah Smith’s Future Problem Solvers (FPS) team qualified to compete in the international FPS competition at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., after winning at the state level.