Odyssey of the Mind team readies for Worlds at Iowa State


On Saturday March 12, Franklin County’s only Odyssey of the Mind team competed at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando for the state finals. 

The team, sponsored by the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary (AVFDA) is made up of students from both Port St Joe and Franklin County high schools as well as those in middle school at Apalachicola Bay Charter School. 

The team is coached by Dawn Pharr and Candice Sheridan.

In Odyssey of the Mind, students use creativity and ingenuity to solve problems broken down into two categories: long-term and spontaneous. In long-term, teams choose a problem at the start of the year with a specific theme and guidelines on which the teams will be scored. Throughout the year, the teams work on their solution, which they perform at the competition. In spontaneous, team members are assigned a problem the day of competition and are given a short amount of time to come up with a solution. 

Odyssey of the Minders or OMers work together in order to make their ideas come to life.

The AVFDA team members are Avery Pharr, Grady Pharr, Owen Juno, River Sheridan, Sophia Strickland, and Wes Taranto, all of whom are alumni of previous ABC School Odyssey of the Mind teams. They compete in Division III, or the high school bracket. 

Their problem is ‘ReOMvention Device' wherein teams must create and perform a story about a unique self-replicating threat changing an environment, and must use a team-created device to remove that threat. The team came up with the environment of “under the couch” and their self-replicating threat are the dust bunnies that terrorize the animals in that miniscule and Western-themed setting.

The team won third place in the state competition, securing them a spot at World Finals in Ames, Iowa on the campus of Iowa State University May 25 to 29. To cover the costs of registration, airfare, and housing, the team has many fundraisers planned to reach their goal of $10,000. They are looking for business sponsors. I

The team will be selling low country boil dinners and baked goods at the Antique & Classic Boat Show this Saturday, April 16, next to 13 Mile Seafood. They will also be at the Carrabelle Riverfront Festival April 23 selling fresh Alligator Harbor oysters on the halfshell. 

Businesses interested in sponsoring, should contact Coach Candice Sheridan at csweetsheridanot@gmail.com or at (850) 567-7270. Donations may be made directly to the team’s Venmo account @AVFDAOdysseyoftheMind. or to the GoFundMe website at //gofund.me/2d4c6010


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