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C. J. Hooker team places second in virtual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

group photo of Odyssey of the Mind team on stage, in their costumes.

C. J. Hooker Middle School Odyssey members Cole Florio, Ethan Tetzlaff, Roxanne Aclin, Nathan Hulse, Julia McKenna,Isabel Barnhorst and Carly Seligman, coached by Heidi Seligman, placed second in the first-ever Virtual Odyssey of the Mind World Finals!

The team was preparing to compete in the World Finals after placing first in the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition at Orange-Ulster BOCES. The team also earned the prestigious Ranatra Fusca Award for exceptional creativity.

However the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organizers of the World Finals to cancel its event. But instead of giving up, they quickly shifted into high gear to reinvent the experience for thousands of students with a first-ever, virtual World Finals.

The team submitted a video of their regional performance along with a seven-minute video featuring an up-close explanation of each graded element.

According to Coach Seligman, the team came together by contributing ideas on a shared Google document and recording their short supplements via Zoom. Team member Isabel Barnhorst learned how to use iMovie and went into production mode, spending hours perfecting a video for her team.

The team used video-conferencing to participate in the spontaneous portion of the World Finals. Odyssey judges presented them with problem to creatively solved on the spot with no preparation.

Odyssey of the Mind promotes creative problem solving, and the C. J. Hooker Middle School team has proven their creativity, work ethic, enthusiasm and team work. Congratulations on a job well done