- Sponsorship -

TK School Second in Odyssey World Finals for Creative Fairy Tale

A tree-killing princess that’s been turned into a tree, an all-in-one-seven-dwarfs dwarf and a superhero that’s ready to solve wardrobe malfunctions at any time were the key ingredients for the Thornapple Kellogg Odyssey of the Mind Middle School team’s success in securing the second spot in its division in the World Competition held at Michigan State University last weekend.

The team, that included five sixth graders and two seven graders, impressed judges with their creative solution to a problem that required a character that acted naturally — to them — but odd to those around them.  Two other area schools, Crestwood Elementary from Kentwood Public Schools, and Rockford High School, won the top spot of their divisions, I and III respectively.Thornapple Kellogg Middle School Odyssey of the Mind team poses after performing their play during the World Finals at Michigan State University last weekend

The humorous play, which can be seen here (http://youtu.be/IcVUqydDAZE) was part ofthe total evaluation, which also includes spontaneous problems, said coach Annie Halle.

“It’s a good way to see how well the team works together,” she said adding the team was also paired up with students from China to be their ‘buddies” and help them navigate the college.   “It’s more of an experience and less than a competition. The kids learn about other cultures, and from people in other areas. At the end, we were exhausted, but we had lots of fun.”

Halle said the program helps students experiment different ideas, without being judged, in a teamwork environment with peers.

“They had a lot of superheroes and princesses and had to agree what would be the funniest and best fit the problem given to them,” said Halle, adding adults are not allowed to help in any way in the preparation to the competition.

“I’m there to make sure they don’t hurt themselves and don’t burn down the school but I can’t help them or make suggestions,” she said.  “Sometimes you know it’s not going to work but you have to let them try it and figure it out. It’s all about letting your child fail and take it and say ok that didn’t work. What can I try next?”

The 8-minute quirky play grabbed the attention of judges, but that second place at the competition wasn’t all the team got as a reward, she added.  “It’s more of an experience and less than a competition. The kids learn about other cultures, and from people in other areas. At the end, we were exhausted, but we had lots of fun.”

- Sponsorship -


Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Sisters land grant to help those who ‘aren’t as lucky as we are’

Sisters at Page Elementary researched and wrote a grant to help homeless kids at Family Promise of Barry County...

New superintendent looks forward to managing challenges of growth

A new superintendent for Thornapple Kellogg schools will take the reins on Dec. 14...

Board to interview four applicants for superintendent post

The public is invited to attend interviews on Nov. 10-11 with four finalists for the Thornapple Kellogg superintendent post...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU