Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Jude Odyssey of the Mind team aims at world finals

Published May 15, 2014

The Reilly/McLaughlin team from St. Jude School, in Atlanta, took first place at regionals and second place at the state competition of Odyssey of the Mind. This qualifies the team to compete in the world finals the last week of May at Iowa State University.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Teams work together to find creative solutions to a variety of problems. Competition takes place on a local, state and world level. There are over a thousand teams across the nation and in 25 other countries. Problems at Odyssey of the Mind range from building weight-holding structures and mechanical vehicles to writing and creating a play from backdrop to costumes.

The team includes third-graders Maria Darke, Caelan McCulla, Erin McLaughlin, Samantha Reilly, Rachel Smit and Claire Wyatt and fifth-grader Anna Thomas. They qualified for the world competition with their solution to the problem “The Not-So-Haunted House.”

The team’s problem was to create an original performance that included a “pop-up-style” not-so-haunted house where four special effects take place. The performance required at least one character to experience the special effects and a narrator who relays the experience to the audience. It also included a surprise ending. The special effects were scored for originality and engineering.