Two teams from Kyrene de los Cerritos finished in the top five at a state tournament designed to encourage scientific problem solving.
Odyssey of the Mind, held at Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson on Saturday, involved teams from across Arizona competing in five different scenarios. One team from Cerritos placed third in the Le Tour Guide scenario and the other placed fifth in Extreme Mousemobiles.
The Mousemobiles team was made up of fourth and fifth grade students who designed a vehicle that was powered by only a mousetrap. The vehicle was sent through a series of obstacles and the students were judged on results and style of their performance.
"It helps to have a creative performance to go along with all the things they needed to do for their vehicles," team coach and Cerritos teacher Michelle Lamp said.
The Le Tour Guide team of fifth graders were required to bring an animate object to life to aid their performance, which involved taking the audience on a "tour" of several locations. The Cerritos students used a "Wizard of Oz" theme and brought a ruby slipper to life as they went through locations from the movie.
"It's a very creative way to get the students to work together and think on their feet," Lamp said.
The maximum the Mousemobiles team could spend was $145 and the Le Tour Guide had to spend under $125.
The teams just missed qualifying for the world tournament that takes place in May at the University of Maryland. The top two teams from each division advanced.
"Our kids did well," Lamp said. "We had a few technical difficulties, but they worked really hard on everything."
Cerritos was the only Kyrene school that competed in the tournament, but Lamp hopes the program will grow within the district for next year. In addition to elementary school teams, middle school, high school and college students competed in the state tournament.