Ford Elementary Students Place First in State, Head to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

Nicole Harrison, ALP teacher and Odyssey of the Mind coordinator at Ford Elementary, is pictured with Ford’s winning Odyssey of the Mind team. The team tied for 1st place at the state competition.

The Odyssey of the Mind team at Ford Elementary School, the first STEM certified elementary school in Cobb County, advance to the 37th World Finals Competition at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. This team, which represents the best of creative minds, will compete against approximately 800 other elementary, high school, and university teams from around the world.

On April 9 the Ford Elementary Odyssey of the Mind team tied for first place at the State Finals Tournament at Columbus State University.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Millions of students work hard all year perfecting their solutions to Odyssey of the Mind problems and preparing to compete within their regions and states.

The Ford team, which consists of one 3rd grader, three 4th graders, and two 5th graders, chose to compete in ‘Aesop Gone Viral.’ Their task was to create and present an eight-minute original performance about a fable gone “viral” and that is being shared throughout the community and beyond. The sharing of the fable was portrayed in three different ways: through using sound, visually, and a team-created “forgotten” method of communication. The performance had to be set in a past time period and included a narrator character, an artistic representation of the fable’s moral, and a mistaken character that makes a wrong conclusion about the moral and is corrected. The props and costumes used in the performance had to be designed, built, and operated entirely by the students with no outside help and within the $125 budget.

This first year team collaborated for five months to prepare for competition, and they are thrilled at the opportunity to advance to World Finals.

“The competition will be intense, but Ford’s Odyssey of the Mind team is up for the challenge,” said Dr. Jami Frost, Principal Ford Elementary School.

For more information about Odyssey of the Mind, please visit