Tag Archives: Odyssey of the Mind

Girls Team from San Elijo Hills Advances to World Finals in ‘Odyssey of the Mind’ Competition at Iowa State University

San Elijo Middle School

A San Elijo Hills team, consisting of six sixth-grade girls from San Elijo Middle School, tied for first place in the California state “Odyssey of the Mind” competition at UC Riverside and is advancing to the World Finals at Iowa State University in Ames, May 25-28.  They will compete against sixth to eighth graders from around the world.

Earlier, they won first place in the regional competition held at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas.

“What’s amazing is the team is going to the World Finals for the second year in a row,” said Ted Yun, who co-coaches the team along with Ella Negrou and Lisa Rodgers.  “The girls competed as a team at the World Finals last year and for the same team to advance two years in a row is extremely rare.”

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. In this annual competition, team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.  Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and about 25 other countries participate in the program.  Approximately 800 teams compete at the World Finals.

The San Elijo Hills team chose a theatrical challenge, a skit focusing on a mammal, a fish and a bird, according to Yun.   “The animals must work together to solve challenges to help a stranger, help each other, and ultimately prevent the imminent demise of all animals in the world! All the while, the animals must display unique emotions. And on top of that, they must incorporate a song and dance!” he said.

In the team’s eight-minute original play the animal characters work together in order to help a middle schooler who is getting older and losing interest in her creative world as her real world responsibilities begin to become more important.

“The skit is entertaining, insightful and really fun to watch,” said Yun, adding that the team consists of Elisenne, Ella, Katja, Marissa, Maya and Morgan.

As part of the competition, the youngsters must brainstorm, research, write the script, build sets and props, create costumes, rehearse the play, and finally, compete against other teams. And, they have to do all of it on their own, without outside involvement.

The nonprofit San Elijo Hills Foundation provided the team with the nonprofit status they needed to compete.

The team has established a GoFundMe site to raise money for expenses: https://www.gofundme.com/bkxk64qc

“All donations, small or large, are gratefully encouraged,” said Yun.  “It will cost about $10,000 to send the team to the World Finals, where more than 10,000 kids, coaches and parents will congregate.”

“The girls had an amazing time last year at the World Finals,” said Yun.  “They all agreed it was the ‘best experience of their lives!’”

San Elijo Hills Foundation Team at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Here is the video of San Elijo Hills Foundation Team performance at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in May, 2015:


The SEH Team were doing Problem 3, Division 1, “Pandora’s Box” (for more information, see http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/materials/2015problems.php )

The team placed 2nd in the Regional tournament in February (in Oceanside), 1st place in the State Tournament in March (at UC Riverside), and 8th place in the Worlds (at Michigan State University).

We’re so proud of them! They represented our San Elijo Hills community on an international stage, competing against teams from across the US, Singapore, China, Poland and others. To finish in the Top 10 was an amazing accomplishment. The kids were recognized for their achievements by the San Marcos City Council in June.

Congratulations to the kids for all their hard work throughout the year on this project! They had a blast doing it and are looking forward to getting their hands on next year’s problems!

The kids would like to thank everyone in San Elijo Hills, their friends and family for their well-wishes and support. Most of all, they would like to thank San Elijo Hills Foundation for sponsoring the team!

‘Odyssey of the Mind’ – San Elijo Elementary Students on KUSI

KUSI News – San Diego, CA

Today seven San Elijo Elementary girls were on the KUSI Morning Show. The Team is raising funds for trip to Worlds.


Please support our San Elijo Hills Odyssey of the Mind team travel to the World Finals competition at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI on May 20-23!!

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative competition where teams of kids put together an 8 minute skit that must include certain elements outlined by the Odyssey organization. Through this process, the kids must brainstorm, research, write the script, build sets and props, create costumes, rehearse the play, and finally, compete against other teams! And they have to do all of it on their own!

The San Elijo Hills team is a group of seven SEES students who have been hard at work since the beginning of the school year on their skit. They were tasked to tell the classic myth of Pandora’s Box — set inside a video game!!! Their skit has singing, dancing and even a magic trick!

In the State Tournament held at UC Riverside on Mar 28, the team placed FIRST out of all of California. In addition, they were awarded first place in the “Style” category, which is a combined score of acting, team designed costume, sets and props! They put San Elijo Hills on the map as the proving grounds for bright, creative and talented kids! The team has an excellent shot at doing well in the World Finals.

Please help your neighbors, friends and fellow students participate in this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience! At the World Finals, they will meet and compete against kids from all over the world! They will stay in the campus dorms, attend special activities and host an international team. As you can imagine, there is a huge expense of shipping out sets and props from San Elijo to Michigan State University. In addition, there are housing and travel expenses.

Any donation you can make will go a long way to help these kids have an experience they will forever cherish! Thank you so much for your time, and even if it’s just wishing them “Good Luck” you’ll help make their dream a reality!


Please support our San Elijo Hills Odyssey of The Mind Team

San Elijo Hills Odyssey of the Mind team

Please support our San Elijo Hills Odyssey of the Mind team in their goal to attend the  World Finals in Michigan State University on May 20-23!


OotM is a “creative competition.” The kids are tasked with putting together an 8 minute skit completely by themselves. After months of hard work, they enter their skit in tournaments and compete against other teams from the region, state and possibly the nation and world. The program focuses on creativity, teamwork, project management and decision making.

The team is made up Ella, Katja, Maya, Marissa, Elisenne, Claudia and Morgan. They are sponsored by the San Elijo Hills Foundation and are students of SEES. The kids have been hard at work on their project since the school year.

In the regional competition in Feb, they placed 2nd and advanced to State. Last weekend, they competed at UC Riverside, and came in 1st place out of all of California! This allowed them to advance to the World Finals at the end of May at Michigan State University in Lansing, MI.

At the World Finals, there will be about 800 teams from all over the world, showcasing their creative solutions! This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the kids.

We’re very excited and very proud of them. The elite schools from Poway, Carlsbad and Encinitas routinely have OotM teams place high in these tournaments. This year, our kids put San Elijo Hills and SEES on the map as the place for bright and creative kids!