South Charlotte

Charlotte teams place in top 10 at Odyssey of the Mind

The Carmel Middle School team performed at the Odyssey of the Mind state finals earlier this season.
The Carmel Middle School team performed at the Odyssey of the Mind state finals earlier this season. MIA O’BRIEN

Of the 850 teams competing in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Michigan State University May 20-23, Charlotte teams placed in the top 10 in their divisions six times with Carmel Middle School taking two of those honors.

Odyssey of the Mind provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. The problems range from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics. The students’ solutions are tested in competition at the local, regional and world levels.

Teams compete in divisions that are based on grade level: Division I is elementary school, Division II is middle school, Division III is high school and Division IV is college.

Regardless of division, each team must select a problem from a group of problems presented by Odyssey of the Mind officials. The choices for this year were “Runaway Train,” “Experiencing Technical Difficulties,” “Pandora’s Box,” “Lose Your Marbles” and “Silent Movie.”

Each team must pick its approach to the problem, write a script, design and build sets, perform in the production and stay within the budget, which, this year, ranged from $125 to $145, depending on the problem.

Carmel Middle School took second place in Division II and South Mecklenburg High School took fourth place in Division III for the “Pandora’s Box” problem. Trinity Episcopal School earned seventh place in Division I. Teams put a video game spin on the story of Pandora’s Box that involved a player advancing to the final level, where hope was released into the world. Myers Park High School placed 13th in Division III for this problem.

Carmel Middle School took third place and Community House Middle School took 10th place in Division II for the “Lose Your Marbles” problem. This problem required teams to design, build and test a structure made only of balsa wood and glue that was intended to balance and support as much weight as possible. Ardrey Kell and Myers Park High Schools tied for 13th place in their division for this problem.

Providence High came in second in Division III for the “Silent Movie” problem in which teams created and presented a performance depicting a director who produced and presented a silent movie.

For the “Experiencing Technical Difficulties” problem, Providence High took 14th place in Division III and Weddington Hills Elementary School took 19th place in Division I.

June K. Noe is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for June? Email her at