Bailey Middle OM

The Odyssey of the Mind team at Bailey Middle School: Ashlyn Ayers, Sydney Baker, Evan Totillo, Kate Baker, Stephanie Colella, Alex Cutcliff and Johanna Anderson.

Bailey Middle School won first place at the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament April 6 at East Carolina University.

The team will move on to the World Finals in East Lansing, Mich., May 21 after competing in the middle school division Problem 5, “Opposites Distract.” The same team took third at the World Finals last year at Iowa State University. Members are eighth-graders Alex Cutcliff, Kate Baker, Sydney Baker, Stephanie Colella, Ashlyn Ayers, Johanna Anderson and Evan Totillo. The coaches are Joanie Baker and Theresa Colella.

Bailey’s OM team also competed in the World Finals in 2017.

The problem-solving competitions engage students from kindergarten through college. Team members work together – often at length – to solve a predefined problem and present their solution. They must also participate in the spontaneous portion of the competition by generating solutions to a problem they have not seen before.

More than 50 schools in the Central Carolina region compete. There are five problems in the competition from which schools can choose. S​chools and community groups purchase a membership and form teams of up to seven students.

The problems appeal to a wide range of interests; some are technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance-oriented.

Under the guidance of an adult coach, teams work on their solutions throughout the school year and, if they choose, present them in organized competitions in the spring.

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