Odyssey of the Mind


Johannesburg-Lewiston Schools
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.
Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.


Congrats to the J-L OM Team!

COURTESY PHOTO

J-L Odyssey of the Mind team headed to World Finals
Gaylord Herald Times

An Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team of eighth-grade Johannesburg-Lewiston Middle School students advanced to the OM World Finals after tying for second at the state tournament in Traverse City in March.

Alyssa Bartle, Hannah Collins, RaeAnn Kievit, Madison May, Morgan Paton and Destiny Sherbonda, all from Lewiston, will compete May 27-31 in Ames, Iowa. More than 800 teams from 35 countries are expected to converge on the campus of Iowa State University.

Making it to Worlds is a dream the girls have shared since they began competing together as second-graders. Some of them started with OM as kindergartners.

“This has been the goal we’ve set every year, and we’ve come close before, missing once by only three points,” said Cindy Bagnasco, who, along with Cyndie Kievit, has coached the team those six years.

Johannesburg-Lewiston Area Schools last sent a team to Worlds in 2006.

“OM teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun,” according to the OM website.

The OM competition has two phases: long-term problem solving and spontaneous.

The J-L team’s “Seeing is Believing” Division II long-term problem challenged them to write and perform an original skit that involved a traveler going from a community that felt threatened into another community and sending a message back to the first community. The performance required writing two rhymes or songs and incorporating a moving set piece, Bagnasco said.

Spontaneous performance is just that — the team is presented a problem it knows nothing about and must solve it. Judges’ scores are based on teamwork, creativity and several other elements. Bagnasco said the J-L team focused on improving in that arena this year and made great strides with help from Kim Samkowiak, an experienced coach and the OM coordinator for J-L.

Going to Worlds will give the girls an opportunity to learn about other cultures and build lifelong friendships with other teams, said Bagnasco. The team already has applied to mentor a team from a foreign country for the week.

Along with the opportunities and honor of representing Michigan comes the challenge of raising money to fund the trip.

“We have to raise $6,000 in one month” to cover on-campus room and board for the team members and coaches, and to provide OM pins for the girls to trade, Bagnasco said. Like at the Olympics, trading and collecting pins is a major activity.

A prime rib dinner fundraiser is planned beginning at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Paul’s Pub, 10757 M-32 East, Johannesburg, with proceeds going to the team. Tickets will be offered in advance from team members, coaches and Paul’s Pub.

Anyone interested in donating to help with World Finals expenses may send checks payable to J-L OM, c/o Cindy Bagnasco, P.O. Box 417, Lewiston, MI 49756. Other offers of help in fundraising may be directed to Kim Samkowiak at 370-2323 or at Bksamkowiak@hotmail.com. For more information about OM, visit www.odysseyofthemind.com/

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J-L's OM team takes 2nd at state, hosts dinner to help fund upcoming world competition
By Arielle Breen - Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston Middle School Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team has done it again. It is off to compete with teams from 35 countries in the World Finals at OM's problem-solving competition.

The same team with the same coaches as last year’s competition is heading to the World Finals at Iowa State University next month after taking second place in state finals.

Kim Samkowiak, J-L OM coordinator, said the teammates have known each other since starting school at J-L.

“They seemed to gel. They seemed to work more off of each others’ strengths and weaknesses this year,” she said. “Over the years (since kindergarten,) they’re learning each others’ strengths and weaknesses and it’s really starting to come to fruition where they’re actually using that and making it a stronger team.”

Seven other Johannesburg-Lewiston teams also competed at the state tournament in Southern Michigan March 17.

Samkowiak said even though the middle school team of five could have opted to compete in categories they were familiar with and excelled in at the World Finals last year, the students chose to face a new category this year.

“Which is much more difficult because they have to learn the in’s and out’s of different challenges,” she said. “Last year, they did a technical problem… As a team they chose to switch and try something new this year.”

The team chose a long-term challenge where it had to create a 15 gram balsa wood structure that could hold as much weight as possible while also holding food and be able to change appearance. J-L’s structure was 8 inches tall and held 485 pounds.

“And that was through a lot of research of angles and what’s the best angle to hold the most weight. It’s just a completely different challenge than what they’ve ever done before because they’ve always done the technical type challenges,” she said.

Ashlyn Baker, Carlee Campbell, Lizzy Halbert, Cameron Thomas and Cadence Wertman will compete in the same problem-solving category next month with a goal of having the structure be able to hold closer to 600 pounds.

More than 830 teams from 35 countries are expected to compete at the World Finals event in Iowa Wednesday, May 23 through Saturday, May 26.

The team also put in a request to mentor a middle school team again. This time they hope to be a mentor to a team from Poland after mentoring a team from Mexico last year.

Samkowiak said students are still maintaining friendships with the team from Mexico.

“It is more time-consuming, more responsibility, more planning... we really left it up to the kids,” Samkowiak said. “They feel that what they learn and what they gain from the experience outweighs the time that they have to spend doing that (mentorship.)”

But first, the team needs to raise enough money to afford the trip.

“It’s nearly $8,000 in travel, registration, room and board, all expenses for the kids to go,” Samkowiak said.

She said the team aims to raise about half of the cost during a planned fundraiser dinner Friday, April 13.

The school is hosting a donation spaghetti dinner at the J-L High School cafeteria from 4-7:30 p.m. to raise enough to help the team.

The fundraiser will also include gift basket raffles and a 50-50 raffle, spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert. Anyone interested in donating, can contact Kim Samkowiak at (989) 370-2323 or bksamkowiak@hotmail.com

Odyssey of the Mind:
Congratulations to our 2 high school OM teams. They did a great job this weekend in Traverse City. 
1st place winning team members are: Alyssa Bartle, Nathan Idalski and RaeAnn Kievit.

The 2nd place winners are: Natalia Collins, Toby Hall, Ian and Tyler Helzer, Faith Pickelmann. 

Both teams will advance to the State Finals in Middleville on March 17th, 2018

ODYSSEY OF THE MIND:
OM World Competition 2017

2 J-L Odyssey of the Mind teams off to world competition
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston Area Schools district has 12 middle school students who are poised to compete against Odyssey of the Mind teams from around the world later this spring.

In Odyssey of the Mind (OM), students compete to solve long-term projects, technical and on-the-spot spontaneous competitive problem-solving sessions with teams from around the state, nation and world.

Johannesburg-Lewiston sent 14 teams to the Regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament in Traverse City Feb. 25 and five teams advanced to the State Finals in Middleville March 18.

The two J-L Middle School teams are advancing to the World Finals at Michigan State University for a four-day event starting Tuesday, May 23.

Nikki Neuenfelt, co-coach of the Odd-a-bot team, said she and others are excited for the team.

“They have worked so hard this year and to make it to World Finals is a great accomplishment,” Neuenfelt said. “It has been amazing to watch our team grow as OMers as well as individuals over the last six years."

Both teams are also hosting an international team through OM’s "Buddy Team" program.

While sending two teams is fantastic for the district, it means the accompanying cost is doubled. The district is planning to raise roughly $13,000 to send both teams to the finals.

A fundraiser is set to be held at Paul's Pub, 10757 M-32, at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 24.

Holly Atkinson, owner of Paul's Pub, is donating a meal of a salad, entree and dessert for attendees.
Tickets are $50 per person and limited to 100.

Anyone interested in attending and supporting the teams can contact Kim Samkowiak at (989) 370-2323 or bksamkowiak@hotmail.com.

Anyone interested in donating toward the J-L teams' World Finals expenses may send checks payable to J-L OM, c/o Kim Samkowiak, 10854 E. M-32, Johannesburg, MI 49751.

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Silver Medallist
"To Be Continued-A Super Hero Cliffhanger"
Coaches:  Cyndie Kievit and Cindy Bagnasco
Members:  Jett Ewing, Joey Chrencik, Alyssa Bartle, Destiny Sherbonda, Samantha Hipsher, RaeAnn Kievit

Congratulations J-L OM Teams!
Next Stop...
Thornapple Kellogg School ~ Middleville, MI
Saturday, March 18th

Good Luck OM Teams!

These teams competed on February 25th, 2017 in Traverse City at the OM Regional Tournament. 
Johannesburg had 7 teams and Lewiston had 3. 
5 teams from Johannesburg and 1 from Lewiston will advance to state finals on
Saturday, March 18th at Thornapple Kellogg school in Middleville MI. 
We also had 3 non-competitive Primary teams which did an awesome job!

Primary Teams:
Coach Nikki Neuenfelt and Merisa Campbell
Members:  Aubrey Neuenfelt, Sawyer Nichols, Emery Lawes, Trenton Klein, Myles Odren and Aurora Campbell

Coach:  Kay Boughner and Sally Nowak
Members:  Brooke Halbert, Gracie Wartenberg, Neela Lawes, Kimberly Crow, Mary Jane Vary and Bri-Ann Boughner

Gold Medallist
"Odd-a-Bot" - Technical Challenge
Coaches:  Merisa Campbell and Nikki Neuenfelt
Members:  Cameron Thomas, Carlee Campbell, Zephie Boughner, Cadence Wertman, Lizzie Halbert, Ashlyn Baker

Gold Medallist
"It's Time OMER"
Coaches:  Lisa Wojtkowiak and Missy Tallman
Members:  Donnie and Danny Wojtkowiak, Cassie Tallman, Emerson Wertman, Lucas Nichols and Quinton Tobias

Gold Medallists
"Ready, Set, Balsa, Build!"
Coaches Ashley Thomas and Sally Nowak
Members:  Ryleigh Karen, Donovan Burhke, Landon Hilt, Gracie Brown, Johnny Baragrey

Silver Medallist
"Catch me if you Can"
Coaches:  Tammy Pickelmann and Bob Walter
Members:  Faith Pickelmann, Gage Boughner, Jamieson Walter, Natalie Collins Hannah Warren, Ian Helzer

Silver Medallist
"Ready, Set, Balsa Build"
Coach:  Jeff Lake
Members:  Lily Crane...TBA



If you are interested in joining Odyssey of the Mind...

Please contact:

Lewiston K-6
Contact Kelly Bowling-Miller (989) 350-2862

Johannesburg K-8 and Johannesburg-Lewiston High School
Contact Kim Samkowiak
(989) 370-2323
For more information.

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PAST J-L ODYSSEY OF THE MIND TEAMS...



Alyssa Bartle, Samantha Hipsher, Jett Ewing, RaeAnn Kievit and Destiny Sherbonda were on the
“Fins, Furs, Feathers and Friends” Team that competed at World Finals May 25-18th at Iowa State University
in Ames, Iowa.  The team took 14th place out of 52 teams World Wide.  They placed an amazing 8th in Style.

The team had a wonderful experience with their buddy team from Hong Kong
as well as other international teams they became friends with.

CONGRATULATIONS!

2016 World Finals
May 25th - May 28th
Iowa State University

Johannesburg-Lewiston High School OM team headed to World Finals; fundraiser on tap April 29th

JOHANNESBURG — An Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team of Johannesburg-Lewiston High School students will advance to the OM World Finals after placing second at the state tournament in Middleville March 19th.
Alyssa Bartle, RaeAnn Kievit, Samantha Hipsher, Jett Ewing and Destiny Sherbonda, will compete in Ames, Iowa May 25-28. More than 800 teams from 35 countries are expected to converge on the campus of Iowa State University.
 “OM is a huge commitment, with a full school day, then Volleyball and Basketball practice and then coming to OM practice after,” said Cindy Bagnasco. Bagnasco and Cyndie Kievit have coached the team for eight years. “They have really grown as a team and have come to know each other’s strengths” added Bagnasco.
Students learn valuable lifelong lessons in OM, like teamwork and creative problem solving methods while having fun.  Competition has two phases: long-term problem solving; and spontaneous.
            The Johannesburg team’s “Fins, Furs, Feathers & Friends”, Division III long-term problem challenged them to write and perform an original humorous skit showing three animals’ point of view while showing emotions and solving problems.  Their solutions will help others, help each other, and solve a problem that threatens the survival of all animals.  During their performance, the required animals will encounter a door and disagree about where it leads.  The team must also create and include an original song and dance.
Spontaneous performance is just that — the team is presented a problem it knows nothing about and must solve it. Judges scores are based on teamwork, creativity and several other elements.  
Going to Worlds will give the team an opportunity to learn about other cultures and build lifelong friendships with other teams, said Bagnasco. The team already has applied to mentor a team from a foreign country for the week.
The team is excited for the opportunity and honor of representing Michigan, with that comes the challenge of raising money to fund the trip, said Bagnasco. They will need to cover costs for on-campus room and board for the team members and coaches, and to provide OM pins for the team to trade. Like at the Olympics, trading and collecting pins is a major activity.

 Anyone interested in donating to help with World Finals expenses may send checks
payable to J-L OM, c/o Kim Samkowiak, 10854 E M32, Johannesburg, MI 49751.
Other offers of help in fundraising may be directed to Samkowiak at 989-370-2323 or at Bksamkowiak@hotmail.com.


Six other Johannesburg-Lewiston teams competed at the state tournament— Something Fishy, Division I coached by Merisa Campbell and Kim Samkowiak, placed 4th and No-Cycle Recycle Division II coached by Ashley Thomas and Tammy Pickelmann — placed fifth. All seven teams qualified for state by placing first or second at the regional competition February 27th.
For more information about OM, see Odyssey of the Mind

Congratulations to our High School OM Team for getting 2nd place in both Spontaneous and Long Term at states this last weekend in Grand Rapids.  They will advance to Worlds in Iowa in May.  Great Job team!!!!

 

Saturday, February 27th we attended the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Competition in Traverse City. 
There were 11 teams district wide.

Johannesburg building took 5 competitive teams all which are advancing to the State Finals. 
They also had one primary team that did an awesome job.

  Lewiston School took 5 teams.  3 competitive and 2 primary teams.  They have 2 teams that will advance to the State Finals

Congratulations 2016 OM Team Members & Coaches!
State competition
March 19th, 2016
at Thornapple Middle School in Middleville, MI

GOOD LUCK TO OUR J-L OM TEAMS!

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Congratulations to our J-L Middle School OM Team!


J-L Middle School Odyssey of the Mind World Finalists 2014!

A team from Johannesburg-Lewiston Middle School had a memorable time
at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals
.
Gaylord Herald Times

The finals took place May 28-31, 2014  at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The J-L team of Hannah Collins, RaeAnn Kievit, Maddy May, Alyssa Bartle, Destiny Sherbonda and Morgan Paton placed 22nd out of 58 teams in their division. The team was coached by Cyndie Kievit and Cindy Bagnasco.

The team left for the tourney May 27 with an escort by the fire department.

During the first day at the finals, the team toured the Iowa State campus, and checked out the competition sites and into their dorms.

The J-L team also had applied to have a buddy team and was paired with another all-girl team from Singapore. Both teams enjoyed the experience. One evening, the two teams went to Walmart where they spent most of their time in the candy aisle. 

Pin trading was big at World Finals, too. This is where countries, states, schools and even some individual teams create their own unique pin and bring them to the tournament. Team members then display and trade the pins throughout the competition.

The girls also were able to see all the different ways in which all the competing teams chose to solve the same problem.

To get to the World Finals, the J-L team took first place at the Regional Tournament, advancing to the State Tournament, where they tied for second, which led them to the World Finals.

Congrats to our OM Team and their trip to the World Finals in Iowa!

 


Johannesburg OM team headed to World Finals

JOHANNESBURG — An Odyssey of the Mind (OM) team of eighth-grade Johannesburg Middle School students will advance to the OM World Finals after tying for second at the state tournament in Traverse City on March 29.
Alyssa Bartle, Hannah Collins, RaeAnn Kievit, Madison May, Morgan Paton and Destiny Sherbonda, all from Lewiston, will compete in Ames, Iowa on May 27-31.

More than 800 teams from 35 countries are expected to converge on the campus of Iowa State University.
Making it to Worlds is a dream the girls have shared since they began competing together as second-graders. Some of them started with OM as kindergartners.

“This has been the goal we’ve set every year and we’ve come close before, missing once by only three points,” said Cindy Bagnasco. Bagnasco and Cyndie Kievit have coached the team those six years. Johannesburg-Lewiston Area Schools last sent a team to Worlds in 2006. “OM teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun,” according to the OM website. Competition has two phases: long-term problem solving; and spontaneous.

The Johannesburg team’s “Seeing is Believing” Division II long-term problem challenged them to write and perform an original skit that involved a traveler going from a community that felt threatened, into another community and sending a message back to the first community. The performance required writing two rhymes or songs and incorporating a moving set piece, said Bagnasco.
Spontaneous performance is just that — the team is presented a problem it knows nothing about and must solve it. Judges scores are based on teamwork, creativity and several other elements. Bagnasco said the Joburg team focused on improving in that arena this year and made great strides with help from Kim Samkowiak, an experienced coach and the OM coordinator for Johannesburg School.
Going to Worlds will give the girls an opportunity to learn about other cultures and build lifelong friendships with other teams, said Bagnasco. The team already has applied to mentor a team from a foreign country for the week.

Two other Johannesburg-Lewiston teams — Driver’s Test Division I coached by Merisa Campbell and Carmen Crane, and Not-So-Haunted House Division I coached by Kim Samkowiak and Nikki Neuenfelt — finished fourth at the state competition.
The three teams qualified for state by placing first at the regional competition March 1.
For more information about OM, see http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/


OM

OM

Odyssey of the Mind
is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for
students from kindergarten through college. Kids apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other
countries participate in the program.

OM

OM is open to anyone who would like to join! 
It’s a fun education program which gives kids the opportunity to show
their individual skills to make the team successful!

Anyone wishing to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind program
can contact their school coordinators.

OM

Lewiston K-6
Contact Janet Collins
Johannesburg K-8 and Johannesburg-Lewiston High School
Contact Kim Samkowiak


OM



GOOD LUCK AT OM WORLD FINALS GIRLS!

Updated 5/31/18

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