Odyssey of the Mind

My daughter Gabrielle participates in Odyssey of the Mind, an organization that promotes fun learning in groups about technical issues.

Odyssey of the Mind is a school-based, world-wide program that promotes creative problem solving for students from kindergarten through college. Under the guidance of a coach, teams of five to seven students learn creative thinking and problem solving skills while finding innovative solutions to a variety of technical and performance problems.

Last week, she had a competition at Heritage Woods high school in Port Moody, BC.

Heritage Woods is a brand-new high tech school – in fact, I met the principal, Doug Shepherd, while he was working on getting the school designed and built. Every classroom has a LCD projector, and while funds ran a little short, plans originally included one-to-one computer with laptops or tablets.

Technology aside, the school is fairly amazing. Built on a mountaintop, the Arthur Eriksen-like architecture warranted a few photographs:

The front of the school is fairly non-standard. No bricks here:

school front

Somewhat modernistic bike storage:

school, bikes

The main school hall is university-like … almost a forum. It’s lined with offices, shops, and eateries:

school, hall, forum

More corners and angles:

The sports field has an amazing view … you kind of feel perched on the mountain:

sports field

Oh, and the competition?

Gabrielle and her team had to build a balsa wood structure that could support a lot of weight while only massing 15 grams itself. (Apparently the world record is something like 800 pounds.)

Unfortunately, her classmate laid the crusher board down too fast – the crusher board that would have supported the weight evenly on the balsa structure. Crash!

Ahh well – next time!