Chatom Students Explore Odyssey of the Mind


A teamof students from Chatom Elementary School took home third place in their division at the regional competition of Odyssey of the Mind, an educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten to college.

Chatom competed in the Delta Region, which includes Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties. More than 40 schools participated.

The Chatom team consisted of Giovanni DeCasso (K), Danica Campbell (2nd grade) Miguel DeCasso, Ally Petersen, and Hannah Rantz (all 3rd graders), and Kamryn Garcia (5th grade).

The competition begins with students being presented with a problem; in Chatom’s division it was “The Not-So-Haunted House.” The Chatom team was directed to create a "Haunted House" with four special effects and a surprise ending. Except the effects were not meant for scaring, but to cause a different reaction. They had to create a story, build props, follow rules and a budget, and finally present their play in front of judges. Each team has a coach who may only guide them in their odyssey of the mind.

Chatom created an elaborate scene involving two boys playing catch who wander into an abandoned home after their ball is accidentally thrown inside. The two boys are joined by two other friends who are passing by when the dilemma of entering the haunted house is presented. A host of traditional haunted house scenes come next that fail to scare the group of kids, however at the end of the skit a boy appears with a mask and asks, “Were you looking for this?”

The skit had the audience and judges laughing. Congrats to Chatom Elementary!

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