Warde OOTM Wins First Place, Recognition from Board of Ed

On Saturday, March 18th, Warde’s Odyssey of the Mind team competed in the Connecticut state tournament, winning first place.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition where students compete in teams and put on a creative performance to “solve” a specific problem.

This year, the Warde team chose to work on a problem titled “The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!!” Their task was to put on an eight minute performance which incorporated three different dramatic styles, a two-costumed character, and a baking soda-vinegar reaction.

On competition day, they were also given a “Spontaneous”- an unstudied question or task which tested their quick-thinking abilities.

In order to prepare, the team of six- Jack Anahory, Henry Quinn, Carlo Desy, Vaden Thakkar, Anshul Sinha, and Anshika Sinha- held practices in Coach Karen Anahory’s garage almost every week since September, sometimes holding multiple 3 hour practices in a week.

During these practices, students brainstormed ideas, created costumes, built and painted props, and rehearsed the performance. This year, the team’s performance was based in Medieval Europe, where a king and a peasant switched lives for a day. It involved a musical number, multiple set changes/shifts, and a romance between a prince and a peasant.

The team performed in front of a panel of judges and won first place, qualifying to compete in the World Finals. They also received a perfect score on their response to the “Spontaneous” problem.

They were recognized for their accomplishment at a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 25th. This was the third time the team was recognized at one of these meetings; although they decided not to go to the World Finals in Michigan this year, this is not the first time they’ve had the opportunity.

The team has been working for six years and competed four times. They have won three times- once in elementary school, once in middle school, and now once in high school; they’ve also competed in World Finals (in both Michigan and Iowa, respectively) twice, placing twelfth last year.

“I’ve been coaching this team for six years, and seen them grow into really excellent human beings with strong problem-solving skills, the ability to work together as a team, and clear public speaking skills,” Coach Anahory said when asked about the team.

“Collectively, they can build innovative sets, write compelling scripts, compose hilarious songs, choreograph effective solutions to problems, and respond calmly to challenges and setbacks.” She added, “Odyssey of the Mind has also been a haven during the chaos of the pandemic, and the bonds these kids have made is a wonderful bonus to the program.”

The team is currently on a three-year hiatus to focus on school and other activities, but a potential “last hurrah” for senior year has been discussed.

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