By Jann Wiswall

They’re on a roll!

Ellicottville Central School’s High School “Odyssey of the Mind” team, which won the regional competition just a few weeks ago, has now advanced to the 2013 World Finals tournament after winning the State competition at Binghamton University on March 23. They’ll be traveling to Michigan State University in East Lansing to compete with 800 teams from around the world from May 22-25.

The ECS team, composed of seniors Eric Oliverio and Patrick Snyder and juniors Izzy Brown, McKenzie Robinson, Emily Timkey and Chris Wojtowicz, was coached by Caitlyn Keller and assistant coach Megan Westfall, another junior. They will reprise the humorous performance they created that addressed a problem called “It’s How You Look at It.” Teams were instructed to  show how a character acts “normally” in his/her own environment, but “oddly” in another character’s setting, and vice versa. The performance had to include a scene change and a “meter” that indicates the degree of normal/odd behavior displayed.

The team created a performance featuring an elderly man in a nursing home and a nurse. The man considers himself to be very hip, which makes him “odd” to the nurse in the nursing home setting, but when the nurse follows him outside of the home to visit with some “cool kids,” she’s the one who’s odd or out of place.

Ellicottville and Webster Thomas High School in Webster, NY, placed in the top two in the High School division at the New York State level, allowing them to advance to the World competition.

According to Odyssey of the Mind, all 800 finalists “represent the best of the best creative minds,” and, “while the competition is fierce, there is also a feeling of camaraderie among competitors. Many students form life-long friendships that span the U.S. and the globe. At World Finals, teams have the chance to learn about other cultures through a common goal . . . to be as creative as they can!”

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