Spoleczna SP NR 1 Sto Szczecin
Virtual Odyssey, Division I
Szczecin, Poland
This team took us back 300 years and told a story that really moved the judges’ hearts. Its reversal of 2-D acting for the Real World and 3-D acting for the Virtual World was a brave move together with its ingenious color choice of all Black and White – plus bright colors only for the credits collected and the nemesis of the story. The cardboard costumes were flat cutouts in multiple parts to denote horses in motion and a talking rock. They were accented with linear origami themes. The script was also wonderful, loaded with rhymes, word play and deeply symbolic dialog. Hoorah for the Hussars and a peak into your history!

Flowery Branch High School
Virtual Odyssey, Division III
Buford, GA, USA
Flowery Branch High school takes you from an 18th century world complete with a very detailed manor house to a creative world full of color and magical creations. The colorful oversized mushrooms and butterflies are creative and amazing. They even had a river with ducks and a crocodile with a moving mouth. Their devices included a giant butterfly with moving wings, a 7 step Rube Goldberg machine that produced the credits and a giant Etch-a-Sketch which saves a small bird from the jaws of the crocodile. Their transition from the real world to the virtual world was accomplished by falling into a well whose gray bricks suddenly change to bright colorful bricks. This team members paid attention to every detail of their production from their set to their characters, like Rizzo the rat. Their creativity was over the top and well done!

Virtual Odyssey, Division III
Carmel, IN, USA
This team’s solution provides us with satire at the highest level. The script was well-written, and performed, and left the judging team laughing. While an exceptional script is one thing, the special effects stole the show. A character in a chair went flipping back into the wall with extreme force. What we didn’t see were the team-built pneumatic pistons that broke the fall. The next effect was a repurposed dental chair lift that drove a scissor lift to reveal credits that this team carved out of foam blocks. Later, it used stage magic principles to make it appear that a mirror reflected “herbs and spices” back at the antagonist. In reality they created a compressed air system, controlled by an RF switch hidden in the wall, to produce the illusion. However, the biggest risk was taken with their 2-D to 3-D effect. A light-up map indicated the credits earned. Upon completion, a lever released spring-loaded portions of the map, changing them from 2-D to 3-D.

North Penn High School
Virtual Odyssey, Division III
Lansdale, PA, USA
North Penn High School laid out all its chips with its ingenious technical effects and costumes. The team hit the jackpot by creating a slot machine that won our hearts with its show-stopping mechanisms. It had such a quick wit to use simple items to deal out their handcuffs and capture the protagonist and went all in on the costumes which it designed mainly out of recycled items. The high roller item was the nefarious creature’s costume. It represented the glamour going from all to nothing as the protagonist started waking up in Vegas to shake the glitter out of his eyes and open them to what he really had at home!

Artios Academies
Problem 3: Classics…OMER and the Beanstalk, Division III
 Hoschton, GA, USA
Addiction. Mental illness. Self-doubt. These are serious subjects to address in an Odyssey solution, but they are also challenges many artists (and others) confront every day. This team took an enormous risk by exploring the complex, inner workings of an artist’s mind, veering away from the upbeat, humorous themes often found in children’s storybooks to metaphorically and visually convey profound concepts like “the judging eye of society” and “crippling expectations.” Symbolic eyes were hidden throughout the set to represent the constant judgment artists endure and rarely escape. As the story progressed, the set grew and morphed around the artist to represent the inescapable cages of addiction and social expectations.

Barringer Academic Center
It’s a Trap! Division I
Charlotte, NC, USA
This team used several Zoom windows, duplicated costumes, and multiple team members playing the same role to leverage technology for theatrical effect. While the “house” was really socially isolated rooms in different team members’ homes, the narrator tells the story of the larger house by demonstrating the elements on a doll house, each room an exact replica of the matching Zoom room, by moving a miniature bandit to demonstrate the bandit character avoiding the traps. Although designed for the virtual world, props were constructed with the detail one would expect to find for close-ups. The team even created a 5-foot Christmas tree out of 3800 penne pastas, colored green with ornaments made with 200 bow tie pastas painted several colors.

Boys & Girls Inv Club Toyota
It’s a Trap! Division II
Inchworm, inchworm – being trapped, oh my! This team created a motorized inchworm, reminiscent of a certain water Insect familiar to all OMers, as the object to be trapped. It looked effortless, but close inspection revealed a complex mix of magnets, batteries and switches to allow the inchworm to travel the rails before the structure trapped the inchworm. The trap did not meet the problem requirements, but it did trap our judges’ interests! Seamless, cohesive performance, cute props and costumes- very clever mechanized dragonflies and a bumblebee, as well as other mechanized props used in multiple ways to enhance the overall performance.

Diamond 7 Academy
It’s a Trap! Division II
This team was brimming with creativity–from a princess’s dress that opened to reveal a Goldbergian contraption representing a virus entering her body, to the wonderfully detailed backdrops for each scene. Most fascinatingly, the hero’s journey through the story was distilled into a hand-constructed and operated Super Mario-style side scroll video game played by the hero’s innermost instincts (think Inside Out). The hero’s path was reconstructed in exacting detail as it scrolled by to the end of the level, as the hero’s icon moved up and down past obstacles via means invisible to the viewer. It was an outstanding feature in an amazing performance.

Central Middle School
It’s a Trap! Division II
Michigan, USA
The team devised an operational door as part of its structure, complete with hinge, made solely of balsa and glue, with an additional piece of balsa for the moving object to hit and close the door, completing the trap. This door comprised a large portion of one side of the structure, risking the overall strength of the structure for an innovative, out of the box solution in the true spirit of Odyssey of the Mind.

BTS Club
Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning, Division I
Seoul, Republic of Korea
This team took inspiration from a real, tragic story to create a compelling fairy tale that allowed them to literally rewrite time and highlight the importance of family. Puppets are used throughout to represent the characters’ powerlessness against the looming nature of poverty pulling the superhero mom’ strings in order to wear her down. They built three different versions of their set to show different scales of time, including details that flipped, folded, popped out, appeared, and disappeared, much of which rewound to retell a story of the mother no longer controlled by poverty or sadness.

Team TBD
Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning, Division I
It’s one thing to paint a restaurant background and turn it around as the action moves between scenes; but creating a 3-D miniature of that same restaurant and using it extremely effectively as Zoom background screens throughout the performance takes the setting to entirely different level! The details used in the construction of Team TBD’s 3-D restaurant setting made it appear as if each character was indeed inside the restaurant or outside on the patio. Absolutely amazing and very effective!