GMC News

GMC Prep Students Advance to World Finals for Odyssey of the Mind

GMC Prep Students Advance to World Finals for Odyssey of the Mind

Seventeen Georgia Military College Prep School students competed in the Odyssey of the Mind State Tournament held on April 4th at Columbus State University. For the past three years, GMC has sent three teams to the regional competition and last year, one GMC team made it to the state competition. This year all three GMC teams advanced to the state competition. Over 110 teams from across the state competed in this event.

GMC’s Earth Trek team placed first in their division (II) and is now invited to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals at Iowa State University on May 27-30, where they will compete with teams from across the nation and around the world, including teams from Canada, China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, and Uzbekistan. The Earth Trek team’s members are, Katie Bershadsky (7th grade), Elliot Fairbrass (8th grade), Liam Fairbrass (6th grade), Sarah Poole (8th
grade), Colby Smith (8th grade), and Tori Spivey (8th grade).

The Earth Trek problem involved designing and building a small vehicle that visited four locations. The team was judged on its long-term problem solution, how well the team solved a “spontaneous” problem on the spot, and “style” — the elaboration of its long-term problem solution.

“I have participated in Odyssey of the Mind (OotM) for three years now. For me, OotM is a great way to express myself. The program enables you to build self-confidence around others whether you are on stage performing or talking to another team. Just being at an OotM tournament is very exciting; not only if you win but just meeting new people makes the whole experience worthwhile and memorable. Having the opportunity to go to Regional, State Finals, and now World Finals means a great deal to me, our team, and the prep school.” ~Elliot Fairbrass, Grade 8

GMC’s Superstition team placed third in their division (II) and will advance to the World Finals if the first or second team is not able to go. Their problem involved creating and presenting a performance that included two documented superstitions, an original superstition created by the team, and the events that caused the original superstition to come to be. The team’s members are, Kailey Calhoun (7th grade), Chad Freeman (7th grade), Jamarcus Jarrett (7th grade), Maya Mapp (7th grade), Delarrion Milner (7th grade), and Kendra Wilson (6th grade).

“Odyssey has been a great experience for me. I love the freedom and the responsibility of creating our own props and script. But most of all, I love the way it brought a group of people together to form a team. My team and I often argued, but in the end it was just ‘US.’ We won first at Regional and we came so close to going to World Finals. I enjoyed experiencing how there is no ‘I’ in TEAM, but simply ‘WE.’”
~Kailey Calhoun, Grade 7

GMC’s The Lost Labor of Heracles team placed fifth in their division (II) and although will not advance to the World Finals, Coach Emily Fairbrass said they performed exceptionally well. Their problem involved creating and presenting an original performance about the ancient Greek hero, Heracles. The team’s members are, Will Applebury (7th grade), Austin Hamilton (8th), Chrissyl Jadol (6th grade), Julia Rice (7th grade), and Alex White (6th grade).

“To me, Odyssey of the Mind means teamwork, leadership, and responsibility. You have to have teamwork in OotM because if one of your team members is behind, you whole team is behind. All of you have to work together to fix the problem. You have to have leadership because you and your team members have to lead each other to success. You also have to have responsibility because if you have to work on a prop or costume overnight, it is your responsibility to bring it in on the day that it is due.” ~Chrissyl Jadol, Grade 6

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Teams of students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.

Odyssey of the Mind is a competitive program, but it’s nothing like your typical sporting event. It’s all about creativity, an often overlooked element in the growth and development of many students. Students are rewarded more for how they apply their knowledge, skills and talents, and not for coming up with the right answer.

According to the website,, students work in teams so
they learn cooperation and respect for the ideas of others. They evaluate ideas and make decisions on their own, gaining greater self-confidence and increased self-esteem along the way. They work within a budget, so they learn to manage their money. They see that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and that sometimes the process is more important than the end result.

Georgia Military College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate Degrees.