MINERVA - The connection between Roman mythology and Minerva was highlighted when eight Minerva Central School students traveled south to Ballston Spa Middle/High School this past March 7 to participate in the annual Odyssey of the Mind event. There, Minerva and Heracles truly shared the stage, and the results were well above par.
For many years, Minerva Central School has fielded a team or two each year at the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition, which is coordinated by the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES. In this event, students team up to solve fun and often very challenging problems in a creative and team-like way.
For the long-term problem, Minerva's Division III students chose "The Lost Labor of Heracles." From November '08 through the first week of this March, the MCS students constructed theatrical sets, props and costumes, and developed a terrific script that fully involved the seven team members. Their challenge was to re-enact Heracles performing one of the 12 labors ordered by the Creek king Eurytheus as well as a long-lost and forgotten 13th labor - a creation of the Minerva. The team also created the stunning Greek goddess Aphrodite and an equally stunning yet bizarre creature involving tentacles and spider legs never seen before in Greek mythology.
The other problem-solving competition the Minerva students participated in involved a 'spontaneous' challenge which had them work together to solve on-the-spot hands-on and thinking problems.
Odyssey Coach Sue Montgomery Corey summed up the great effort made by her team this year.
"I'm not sure whether it was the fact this was our first international team (with members from the U.S., Columbia, and Thailand), or the fact that we were tackling the classics problem for the first time in awhile, but the team members demonstrated great creativity, warmth, and humor. Their performance at regionals in Ballston Spa was spot-on and very funny," she said. "As their coach, I could not have asked for more."
Although the team will not be moving on to the New York State finals in Binghamton in early April - finishing in second place, the team said they had a great time preparing for and participating in the Odyssey of the Mind competition. The eight-minute performance was a tour-de-force, and the team scored high with the "spontaneous" part of the competition.
The Odyssey of the Mind team included Brandon Dunbar, Toni Dunbar, Tara Galusha, Aleynah Gardineer, Lisseth Mendoza, Liz O'Connor, and Thanapat Piromkam. Jacob Galusha was a big help to the team in various ways and was a great 'roadie' for the Ballston Spa trip.
Thanks to Patsy Sullivan of MCS for the use of her art room, and to the custodial staff of the school for its help throughout the months-long preparation period. Thanks also to the MCS School Board, administration, and faculty for their support of Odyssey of the Mind. And, thanks to all the parents/guardians who supported their talented students during this process.