“Odyssey of the Mind” Creativity Contest: Winners Travel to the United States with Support from FACTON
The international Odyssey of the Mind competition promotes creativity, learning and fun – as demonstrated by the students from Humboldt-Gymnasium high school in Potsdam. The team finished first at the German Finals in early March and is now flying to the World Finals at Michigan State University in the United States. They will be supported by FACTON as part of a sponsorship arrangement.
Creativity vs. distraction
In Odyssey of the Mind, students tackle different problems with the help of coaches. Some have to be solved spontaneously and others are prepared over several months. For their long-term problem, the six girls aged between 13 and 14 created a theatrical performance that explored the internal conflict between the creativity of the young protagonist and her phone – using a cell phone endangers the girl’s creativity, which has to be saved by her ideas. After several attempts by the phone to destroy her creativity, the conflict culminates in an epic battle between the phone and her ideas in the form of a superhero.
The World Finals: one of the largest non-sport youth events in the world
The Humboldt-Gymnasium team will now travel to Michigan to compete against the winners from the other participating countries. The finals are one of the largest non-sport related youth events in the world, with 825 teams participating last year. After the World Finals, they will stay on for a few days with guest families in Pennsylvania before traveling back home. The coaches are final-year students and unfortunately cannot travel with the team because they will be in the middle of their university entrance exams. Adult chaperones have stepped in so as not to jeopardize the team’s participation in the competition.
Dr. Carola Gnadt, principal of the Humboldt-Gymnasium high school in Potsdam: “As a traditional, academically oriented high school, we place great emphasis on imparting ideas and knowledge to our students above and beyond the standard curriculum. The work that our team has put into Odyssey of the Mind has been phenomenal and I am thrilled that they are able to travel to the World Finals. It is a very important experience for the girls and I would like to thank those, like FACTON, who have helped them on their way. I am particularly grateful to Potsdam mayor Jann Jakobs for his support.”
Alexander M. Swoboda, CEO of FACTON: “As a global employer with local roots, we know that educating talented minds is of enormous importance internationally. So supporting Postdam’s all-girl winners of the German Odyssey of the Mind is a unique opportunity for FACTON to promote local talent. There were two aspects of the Odyssey program that particularly appealed to me. First, a group of students will travel from Potsdam, where we have our headquarters, to Michigan, where we have a branch office. Second, like many IT companies, we are especially interested in hiring female employees. That’s why we want to support female talent with our sponsorship and at the same time draw attention to the attractive career opportunities we offer.”