Odyssey of the Mind

Black Mountain Middle School’s (BMMS) Odyssey of the Mind team recently qualified to represent Poway Unified School District in the organization’s world finals. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program designed to develop team-building skills, critical thinking, and academic engagement. Students are given a set of creative problems to explore and develop solutions for, which they present in competition at regional, state, and world levels.


BMMS’s team of six students includes seventh grader Elizabeth Thornes and eighth graders Sienna Barker, Leah Bernstein, Katrina Guseman, Dakota Jaqua, and Ellie Kitchen, led by coaches Nora Guseman and Erika Thornes. This year, they selected the topic The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci: Artist, Scientist, and Thinker. Their task was to present an invention and extrapolate Leonardo da Vinci’s interpretation of it. Their inventive presentation involved an original script, complete with costumes, props, and scenery.


They finished in first place at the regional level, which qualified them to continue to the state competition, where they placed second. Their hard work continued with fundraising efforts to attend the world competition at Michigan State University in late May, where they finished at rank 11 in their problem.

Learn more about the nonprofit Odyssey of the Mind at www.odysseyofthemind.com.