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Ballots And Baked Goods

Photo: Shannon Hicks

Odyssey of the Mind team mom Heather Almeter with her daughter, Arline, at Newtown Middle School earlier this afternoon. Mrs Almeter’s son, Aidan, is a member of a team that will be heading to Odyssey of the Mind world finals later this month.

Following the Connecticut State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament, held last month in Bristol, five Newtown teams are preparing to head to the World Finals in Michigan, set for May 22-25. A bake sale at Newtown Middle School today — timed to coincide with most of the hours when residents will be voting in the second round referendum — continues to raise funds for the students and chaperones going on that trip.

Baked goods — from cookies and muffins, brownies to homemade trail mix and more — are being offered by Odyssey of the Mind team members (and parents) at a table set up near the entrance to the gymnasium residents are using for today's vote. 

“We should be here until about 7 o’clock tonight,” Heather Almeter said early this afternoon. “We have people taking turns manning the table, and I believe that’s as late as we plan to be here. As we go through the day, more baked goods are being brought out, too.”

As she said this, daughter Arline arrived with a fresh tray of brownies.

“We should be here until about 7 o’clock tonight,” Heather Almeter said early this afternoon. “We have people taking turns manning the table, and I believe that’s as late as we plan to be here. As we go through the day, more baked goods are being brought out, too.”

Heather’s son Aidan is a member of the Reed Intermediate School fifth grade Odyssey of the Mind team called The Dover Donuts. That team, as well as RIS’s sixth grade team Einstein’s Monkeys, two teams from Newtown High School, and a team from Newtown Middle School are all heading to Michigan for the Memorial Day weekend competition.

A donation jar is also on the table for those who wish to help the team but do not want to purchase any baked goods.

Odyssey of the Mind is the largest intellectual competition in the world. Teams of up to seven students select and solve one of five long-term problems that they present at the annual state competitions. The top 30 teams in each competing state then head to World Finals at Michigan State Univeristy in Lansing, Mich. There, teams from more than 30 countries will come together in the spirit of international competition. 

In all, 12 teams from Newtown participated in the Connecticut State Odyssey of the Mind Tournament this year. Newtown was represented at the state level by teams from Hawley Elementary School, Middle Gate Elementary School, Reed Intermediate School, Newtown Middle School, and Newtown High School.

Over 800 teams from around the world are expected to compete in the 34th Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. The competition emphasizes creativity and teamwork and has grown into the largest international creative problem-solving competition worldwide.  
 
“While the competition is fierce, there is also a feeling of camaraderie among competitors,” according to organizers. “Many students form lifelong friendships that span the US and the globe. At World Finals, teams have the chance to learn about other cultures through a common goal: to be as creative as they can.”
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