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Danbury Students Take Home Honors From Global Odyssey Of The Mind Contest

Members of the Rogers Park Middle School team, made up of students from several Danbury schools, show off their certificates after qualifying to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind's World Finals last month in Iowa.
Members of the Rogers Park Middle School team, made up of students from several Danbury schools, show off their certificates after qualifying to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind's World Finals last month in Iowa. Photo Credit: Danbury Public Schools
Members of the Rogers Park Middle School's Odyssey of the Mind team in the costumes they wore during the World Finals in Iowa.
Members of the Rogers Park Middle School's Odyssey of the Mind team in the costumes they wore during the World Finals in Iowa. Photo Credit: Danbury Public Schools
The World Finals for the Odyssey of the Mind were held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. It drew hundreds of teams from around the world.
The World Finals for the Odyssey of the Mind were held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. It drew hundreds of teams from around the world. Photo Credit: Odyssey of the Mind

DANBURY, Conn. – A team of middle-schoolers from Danbury came home with honors from a recent worldwide Odyssey of the Mind contest.

More than 800 teams from around the globe competed in the World Finals held at Iowa State University in May.

Rogers Park Middle School’s team, which was made up of students from several schools in the region, placed in the Top 10 of the problem/division contest at the Ames event.

Connecticut had five teams that made it to the Top 10, more than 2014 and 2015 combined.

Rogers Park Middle School’s team, which was made up of students from several schools in the region, placed seventh in Division 2 (sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders)  in its assigned problem

Rogers Park team members were: Aliya Hafiz and Sofiya Hafiz, both of Newtown; Laura Snow, Reed Lyall and Jack Lyall, all of Danbury; and Colin McLoone and Jimmy Onorato, both of Brookfield.

They were coached by parents Dan Lyall and Carolyn Onorato.

According to Onorato, the team had to solve three problems under 8 minutes while putting on a dramatic performance that featured three "recognizable" animals and cost less than $125.

The kids kept the cost of their costumes down by doing a "lot of dumpster diving" and using recyclable materials, Onorato said.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative program where teams of up to seven members compete on a regional, state and world levels to solve a long-term problem, as well as a spontaneous problem on competition day.

The teams fall into one of five age divisions: primary, elementary, middle school, high school and college.

The long-term problem is chosen by the team from one of five problem types: vehicle, technical/performance, classics, structure and performance.

Each of the long-term problems requires a presentation and has a set number of specifics that must be addressed in the solution.

For more information on the Connecticut Odyssey of the Mind, and how other teams did, click here.

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