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NNY schools compete in Odyssey of Mind contest

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A slew of districts represented the north country at the Odyssey of the Mind state competition over the weekend.

Teams from South Jefferson to Ogdensburg competed Saturday with students from across the state in a series of events designed to test their creativity and problem-solving skills at SUNY Binghamton, although none advanced to the national competition to be held in East Lansing, Mich.

One of Lowville Academy and Central School’s three teams competed in the state competition for its second consecutive year.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Anna K. Metzler, 12, said before leaving for the event. “It’s like getting together with friends.”

The team had prepared for the competition for several weeks by building props and putting together a skit. The teammates said they always try to have fun no matter where they are in the process.

“This is our third year together, so we all work really well together,” said Emma K. Hellinger, 12.

Area teams reached the state competition by excelling at the previous tournaments in Region 8, encompassing St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, and Region 9, consisting of schools in Jefferson and Lewis counties.

“We practiced at least twice a week for two hours at a time since October,” said Kimberly Snyder, who coaches an Ogdensburg Free Academy team of seventh-grade girls. “At the end we were practicing pretty much every day.”

The girls on Mrs. Snyder’s team, named #Swag, took on the “It’s How You Look at It” problem.

“Basically, they had to come up with a presentation that’s eight minutes or less to solve a whole bunch of criteria,” Mrs. Snyder said. “Each person has to exhibit behavior that they consider normal but other people think is odd.”

In the performance put on by Mrs. Snyder’s team, the show “starts outside the body and the flu virus goes inside the mouth and then the scene flips over and the rest of it takes place in the body.”

“It’s a lot of fun,” Mrs. Snyder said.

Results for teams from the tri-county area were as follows:

n Pet Project — Div. I: Dexter Elementary, 12th; Div. II: Dexter Elementary, fifth, Gouverneur, ninth.

n The Email Must Go Through — Div. I: Ogdensburg, fourth, Beaver River, 10th, Dexter Elementary, 15th; Div. II: Lowville Academy, 14th; Div. III: Ogdensburg, third.

n ARTchitecture: The Musical — Div. I: Lowville, fifth; Div. II: Lyme, 14th; Div. III: Beaver River, seventh.

n Tumble-wood — Div. I: Ohio Street Elementary, Watertown, sixth; Div. II: Wilson Elementary, Adams Center, fifth; Div. III: Lyme, sixth.

n It’s How You Look at It — Div. I: Gouverneur, fourth, South Lewis, 12th; Div. II: Lowville Academy, eighth, Ogdensburg, 10th; Div. III: South Jefferson, 12th.

Times staff writer Steve Virkler contributed to this report.

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