Bell School Students Shine at Statewide Competition
More than 20 Marblehead elementary school students place to compete in national competition in Baltimore, Md., next month.
Last weekend, six seven-student teams from Marblehead's Malcolm L. Bell School traveled to North Attleboro to compete in a state-wide competition that requires participants to think outside of the box.
It was the first time that Bell School sent students to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind tournament, which challenges students from kindergarten to college to take on advanced problem solving.
Bell School’s contingent included 42 students in second and third grade and three of the school's teams were selected to compete in the organization's World Championship in Baltimore, Md., next month.
“In my nearly two years at the Bell School, this day stands out as one of the most memorable,” said Bell School principal Thomas Desjardins. “The pride I and the parents felt this weekend is hard to even put into words. These kids were just beaming.”
The competition is meant to encourage participants to use critical thinking skills and in some cases, teams build mechanical devices to solve presented technical problems; in others they interpret literary classics through the lens of their own experiences. Additionally, throughout the program, and at the tournament, team members are given spontaneous problems to solve.
It was Marblehead's first time participating in the competition and because the students and coaches were all new to the experience, nobody really thought beyond Saturday’s competition, noted Kristen Grohe, parent to Ryan, a third-grader on one of the teams that ended up in first place.
“We were just so excited that they made it this far, so qualifying for Baltimore was the icing on the cake,” she said.
Winning teams from across the country will compete over Memorial Day weekend in Baltimore, at the University of Maryland.
“We are over the moon that three of our Bell School teams qualified,” said Bell School teacher, OM co-chair and parent of two participants, Amie Baker. “Now the hard part begins as we look ahead to the competition in Baltimore.”
Fundraising information for the Maryland tournament will be released in coming days.