Walnut Bend Students Earn Awards at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

School is one of eight from HISD to Participate

May 27, 2012

Students from Walnut Bend Elementary School, an Apollo 20 campus, were honored at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Ames, Iowa, for their performance in two categories. The student-driven problem-solving competition emphasizes teamwork and creativity. Walnut Bend earned third-place honors in the "You Make the Call" category, in which students were required to "design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that will support as much weight as possible."

The school also ranked fourth in the "Ooh-Motional Vehicles" category, which required students to "design, build, and drive a vehicle that will travel a course where it will encounter three different situations. The vehicle will display a different human emotion for each encounter and one will cause it to travel in reverse."

Walnut Bend Principal Susan Shenker watched a live video stream of the awards ceremony on Saturday, May 26. "I am so very proud of our amazing, hard-working students and their incomparable coach, Michele Dahlquist," Shenker said. "Competitions such as this are a reminder that real learning is about creating and problem-solving and that these types of experiences should be available to all learners."

Coach Dahlquist was also recognized in a post on the Walnut Bend Odyssey of the Mind team blog. It says, "We could not have come this far if (it were) not for a coach capable of bringing out the very best our children have to offer; harnessing their talents, pushing where they need to be pushed, yet pulling back to allow the freedom of their wildly running creativity."

Seven other HISD schools also participated in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. They included, Bellaire High School, Pin Oak Middle School, and Horn, Poe, River Oaks, Roberts, and West University Elementary Schools.