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Odyssey of the Mind competition held in Monroe County

A competition to get students thinking outside the box was held Saturday at Pocono Mountain West High School.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Odyssey of the Mind challenges students to understand a problem and find a solution. The regional competition held at Pocono Mountain West High School brought hundreds of students together to show off their brain power.

"What's interesting about Odyssey of the Mind is that it emphasizes critical thinking and divergent thinking, so there's not one correct answer to the problem," said Ryan Balton, Odyssey of the Mind of NEPA.

"It's such a diverse experience to be able to see it up close is amazing, the problems are very vague, and it's interesting to see how other teams solve it and what direction they take it in," said Jessica Rinaldi and Emily Farley, Pocono Mountain East.

Dressed in costumes with creative props, the students presented their solutions to the judges using science, technology, engineering, math, and arts as part of their solution for these seniors from Pocono Mountain East they've been working to solve their problem since October.

"We constantly bounce ideas off of each other and even blend them sometimes," said Katherine Gude, Pocono Mountain East.

Regional organizers say this is the first back-to-normal tournament since the pandemic, helping to build skills students might not realize will help them down the road.

"Every day, we are tasked with having to solve problems at work or solve problems in their day to day lives, and so the skills they learn and develop at the Odyssey of the Mind they can take with them well beyond the classroom and well beyond college," said Balton.

The regional winners will move on to the state competition at Lock Haven University on April first.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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