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GMC Prep team takes sixth at “Odyssey of the Mind” world finals

GMC Prep team takes sixth at “Odyssey of the Mind” world finals

(Ames, Iowa) – A group of Georgia Military College Prep students have found international success in the “Odyssey of the Mind” competition.

Katie Bershadsky, Elliot Fairbrass, Liam Fairbrass, Sarah Poole, Colby Smith and Tori Spivey make up Team Earth Trek, the team that finished sixth at the Odyssey World Finals at Iowa State University.

Nearly 700 teams converged on the campus, with nearly 60 of those teams being in Earth Trek’s division.

“There were 56 other teams in our division, and eight of those were from other countries,” said Liam. “We beat most of those teams.”

According to the competition’s Web site, “Odyssey of the Mind” is “an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.”

“They give us a problem and we have to solve it in the most creative way possible,” said Spivey. “There are so many different ways to solve it.”

The GMC Prep team’s problem was to build a car that could travel through four separate environments.

It took some effort, but they got it right.

“We actually built three cars,” said Liam. “One was hooked to a vacuum, similar to a hockey table. That one didn’t work so hot. Then we built a hover craft, using a plastic bag and a hairdryer. But it melted the bag and wouldn’t carry anything. The last one was a wooden, rectangular box with two screwdriver motors to run it. We used that one.”

For Poole, Spivey, and Elliot, this was their third year in the competition. Bershadsky and Smith have competed for two years. This was Liam’s first year.
Each of the team members joined for different reasons.

“I was just curious,” said Spivey. “They talked about science, acting, and that sort of thing, and I wanted to see what it was like.”

“I started because a lot of my friends were doing it,” said Poole. “Then I found out how much it is.”

“My brother [Elliot] was already doing it,” said Liam. “That’s why I started.”
But regardless of the experience level or reasons behind joining, Team Earth Trek found a combination for success.

Said Spivey: “It was amazing.”

Ross Couch
Media Relations
Georgia Military College