Catching Up – 2019 Goal Reached!

Everybody has been BusY BUSY trying to meet the deadline for fundraising! With a shortened timetable, bad weather and flu-like symptoms dominating the team members as well as the rest of the school and community it certainly has been a challenge. Within the last couple of weeks the team attended a pre-worlds meeting with the Maine OM organizers, participated in at least 4 fundraisers held at area stores, and attended NEAR-Fest XXV where the Amateur Radio community raised over $1,000 again. The school lock in was a success, the comedy show on Friday May 10 was not attended as well as we had hoped, but still brought in several hundred dollars. Sunday, May 12th’s pancake breakfast and white elephant sale bought in a few hundred more and put us over the top! Calendar sales are still available, and prizes will be drawn in June. If you want to enter for 1 or more chances to win please email the team.

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP! We could not have done this without you all!

For the first time in several months, the team has been given the week off to rest, recover and recuperate – and pack for the trip, which begins next week. In the interim they have learned that their buddy team this year is from Sweden, so they have been collecting items to be used as gifts to give to the Swedish team members.

Check back for more pictures as the plans come together for the trip.


All About the “Structure”

Loaded Towers
Left frame is a test tower, built and tested about a week before the 2019 Maine State Tournament. The right frame is at the 2019 Maine State Tournament. Yes, the tower is “hidden/blurred”.

Since this Acton team selected Odyssey of the Mind’s Problem 4, the structure problem, the team has been on a path of evolution to conquering the skills necessary to score well at the OM Tournaments. Although some of the team members have changed over the years and they’ve had frustrations along the way they have still stuck with this problem for the last 3 years. One of the things they’ve learned is building the test towers is important to test different designs to see which is the best, but the “sad” truth is a successful structure design always ends the same way – the “demise” of the 14.x gram structure as it gets crushed by hundreds of pounds of weight.

So before they even get to World Competition they have had to build several test structures and at least two competitive ones, one for the Regional tournament and one for the State tournament using lessons learned. The ability to rebuild the latest successful design is key.

Each year there is a different “twist” on Problem 4, that the teams are challenged with. This year the OM “problem makers” added a requirement to “toss” the structure over a barrier before weights are placed on it. The short problem description is:

Problem 4: Structure Toss 
Divisions I, II, III & IV
Step right up and put your structure to the test! Teams must strategize risk for points and “toss” their structures in this year’s problem-turned-carnival. They will use a device to propel the structure in a carnival game. If it travels in the air it gets higher score! Once the structure has been successfully tossed, it can be tested for strength. A carnival barker character will entice other characters to join the fun during a performance that incorporates testing the structure’s strength with creative games of skill and chance.

This “toss” requirement adds a new depth to the challenge, but so far so good! The structure held 585 lbs at the Maine State Tournament, the most weight held by any team in Maine, including the high school teams.

Please help us get to the World Tournament to show what a small town in Maine can do!

Yup, Another Fundraiser Blast..

The team has been flying under the radar this lately with some lower key fundraisers at local stores (latest one this past evening at Acton Trading Post), but the bigger ones are coming up! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED!! Time is going quickly, and we need to raise all the rest of the money for the trip in the next 3 weeks. Here come a couple of quick plugs:

School lock-in

Pledge your contribution to a team member or two (or more!) for a fixed amount for the number of hours the team members stay “locked in” to the school gym for up to 24 hours. NO PERSONAL ELECTRONICS ALLOWED! Yes, this makes it a nearly impossible situation for many team members! Last chance to pledge is now! Don’t forget the opportunity to have a child free night for a few hours on Saturday evening if your child(ren) are Pre-K or older for less than you would probably have to pay for a babysitter. The team and their “adult team” will keep them busy until from 6 to 9 PM for much less than you would pay for a babysitter. They will come home worn out.


A Winner a day in June! Enter 1 time for $10, 3 entries for $25. The stuff you can win is varied and pretty cool. Check it out the link where you can download a copy and follow the directions to enter.

Comedy show – 18+- Free bABYSITTING!

In 2 weeks, Friday, May 10 at 6:30 PM. Yes, there is now going to be free babysitting available during the Comedy Show (ticket purchase required) starting at 5:30 at Acton Town Hall. You will need to provide some information at drop off for emergency situations, but other than that the service is free.

We’re not sure if we have ever had a show like this in Acton. Unfortunately we will not be able to serve your favorite adult drinks but it’s sure to be one of the best, if not the best show of this type ever in Acton! Get your tickets online or contact us at to get them without the online fee team@actonom.org.