GMC News

Prep Teams Place First and Second in Regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament

Two Georgia Military College Prep School Odyssey of the Mind teams began their quest for creative supremacy this year by competing in the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament held on February 12th in Savannah, Ga. Both teams (middle school and high school) will now advance to the state finals on April 16 at Columbus State University, with the ultimate goal of competing, once again, on the world stage in May. The middle school team of seven girls (Reagan Thornton, Mary Ashley Easterwood, Audrey Harris, Sarai Mapp, Peyton Mims, Heather Norton, and Meia Warren)placed second out of ten competing teams. The team’s long-term solution for the problem, Le Tour Guide (Division II), began at 9:00 a.m. GMC’s Odyssey of the Mind Coordinator Emily Fairbrass said, “Despite the early time slot, the judges and audience were quickly awakened bytheir colorful, light-upstage sets and zany costumes, then sent into laughing fits as soon as their play began.The team’s lead character sang and paraded in front of the judges during scene changes to create seamless transitions. As a team, they opted to miss the opening ceremony in order to help each other get into costume, repair damages to their stage sets and torehearse. They exemplified amazing team work and problem-solving under a time crunch.” The high school team of six (Sarah Poole, Jostin Grimes, KeShawn Harris, Taylore Brooks, Liam Fairbrass, and Elliot Fairbrass) placed first out of six competing teams. They packed the gym for their 2:00 p.m. performance, solving the long-term problem, Extreme Mousemobiles (Division III).The team was tasked with creating “mousemobiles” in which the vehicles are propelled only by mousetraps to complete six different challenges, to include two team-created challenges. In addition, the challenges had to be incorporated into a themed performance. Ms. Fairbrass said, “The audience was completely mesmerized by a flawless performance!” The team was honored with the Ranatra Fusca Award for exceptional creativity, by the Long-Term Problem Captain and the entire team of judges. According to Mr. Bryan Johnson, Problem Captain, “This team showed exceptional creativity in all aspects of the long-term solution and style. The presentation was 8 minutes of jaw-dropping visual effects and showmanship. The team’s mythical beast [a dragon] was both the target of one task and created the environment for another task. Everyday materials were used in new and innovative ways in the team’s costumes. Some judges are suffering post-traumatic stress from standing too close to the special effects. The constant bombardment of skill and creativity indicate an exceptional solution.” 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. Each team had to solve a problem and present their solution to the problem in the form of an 8 minute skit. According to the website,, students work in teams to learn cooperation and respect for the ideas of others. They evaluate ideas and make decisions on their own, gaining self- confidence and increased self-esteem along the way. They work within a budget to learn to manage money. They see that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem and that sometimes the process in more important than the end result. Pictured, GMC Prep High School Team: Front row (L to R) – Taylore Brooks, Liam Fairbrass, Sarah Poole Middle row (L to R) – Keshawn Harris, Elliot Fairbrass, Jostin Grimes Back row (L to R) – Coaches: MAJ Clay McElheny, MAJ Emily Fairbrass,and Mr. Mark Fairbrass Pictured, GMC Prep Middle School Team: (L to R) – Sarai Mapp, Mary Ashley Easterwood, Meia Warren, Reagan Thornton, Heather Norton, Audrey Harris, MAJ Emily Fairbrass, and Peyton Mims