MSE Prepares for World Odyssey

St. Lucie Public Schools is proud to announce that Morningside Elementary’s (MSE) Odyssey of the Mind Team is advancing to the World Finals competition slated for May 23 – May 26 in Ames, Iowa. Morningside’s team will convene with approximately 850 other teams for what is deemed to be the largest creative problem-solving competition.

Julie Moore is an instructor at MSE and coach for the MSE Odyssey of the Mind Team.  “This is a fantastic group of students. Each brings a unique gift to the team,” said Moore.  Team members   Addison Moore, 5th grade; Derek Boyer, 5th grade; Josh Caron, 5th grade; Tyler McDonald, 4th grade; Ethan Moore, 3rd grade; Alexis Allen, 3rd grade; and Amy Alfonso; 3rd grade, completed the  Triathlon Travels problem.

As a team, they were required to create a team-operated vehicle. Judging was based on the creativity and uniqueness of the vehicle’s propulsion and steering systems. The team then used the vehicle to complete three tasks: curling, tracking, and jousting — all while telling an original and humorous story. Their solution incorporated creative use of recycled materials, team choreographed song and dance, and a uniquely powered vehicle that was successful in all three areas of competition. At the World Finals, teams will be judged on three different areas: their long-term problem, their spontaneous problem, and overall style of their solution.

When asked about the school’s team, Principal Kathleen Melrose said, “The students learn more than just engineering and performance arts, they learn to cooperate and work together. They learn to accept and build on each other’s answers to solve for an open-ended solution.”  She went on to explain the value of the process and its inclusion of science, technology, engineering, arts, and, mathematics (STEAM) as well as the role of the coach.  “Mrs. Moore has been a superb team coach.  She has supported appropriately and motivated this innovative team; but the team is self-reliant.  They completed the required tasks on their own.  Their independence is extremely important.  Adult assistance, or any outside assistance for that matter, will incur penalty points at the tournament.”

Melrose stated the team is also in the midst of fundraising to support travel, room, and board for eight people and their props from Port St. Lucie to Ames, Iowa.  “This can be a daunting task. The team and their families are working tirelessly to raise money so that all team members are able to attend. The cost per team member is over $1,400.00.” MSE is sponsoring car washes, bake sales, and other fundraisers to help cover some of this cost for the team. Additionally, the Education Foundation has set up a page at: For donations, click on the “donate now” button, select “apply to” and “SLE.” All donations are appreciated and welcome.

For more information on Odyssey of the Mind, check out or keep up with our journey on our Morningside Elementary Facebook page.