BY EMILY GUEVARA
Outside-of-the-box thinking has given some All Saints Episcopal School students a worldwide experience.
Three teams from the Tyler school competed in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals last week at Michigan State University.
Eight hundred teams from across the world competed at the event in East Lansing, Mich. In addition to the United States, other countries included China, Poland, Singapore, Switzerland and Canada.
All Saints' teams were made up of third- through sixth-graders and two of the three teams placed in the top 20 in their category.
Odyssey of the Mind is designed to teach students creative problem-solving methods in a fun environment, according to its website.
The program provides students with open-ended problems that require them to think creatively to solve them.
Thinking outside of the box is rewarded in the program, according to the website.
Of the All Saints group, Ginger Stewart's team of fourth-graders placed 12th out of more than 40 teams in their category.
Cindy Culwell's team of fifth- and sixth-graders placed 14th out of more than 50 teams in their category.
And Cathy Davis' team of third- and fourth-graders placed 28th out of more than 60 teams in their category.
The teams competed against other teams in their division who were solving the same problem. Grade level determined a team's division, and there were five problems, according to the Odyssey of the Mind website.
Ms. Stewart's team competed in the Division 1, Problem 2 category. With that problem, teams had to create and present an original performance that included a technical representation of emailed messages, according to the program website. The team could not spend more than $145 and had other requirements to follow.
Ms. Culwell's and Ms. Davis' teams competed in different divisions, but used Problem 3. With that problem, the teams had to create and present an original performance that included a replica of a documented architectural structure built between 1,000 A.D. and 1,600 A.D. The performance also had to include two songs and choreographed movement, among other requirements, according to the website.
This most recent competition capped off a three-month season for the All Saints teams.
In March, the school held the North Texas Regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament, according to a news release.
All Saints had six teams in the competition with students from third through sixth grades competing and first- and second-graders performing.
All three of the school's competition-age teams placed in the top two and advanced to Texas State Finals.
During the state competition April 13 in Houston, all three All Saints teams placed in the top two within their problem and division, qualifying them to the World Finals.