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!

April 13 & 14 Fundraisers

The team had success with doughnut sales on Saturday, April 13 at Town Hall and Sunday, April 14 at the church by Town Hall. The team brought in $411.00 in doughnut sales and $85.00 in donations. THANK YOU to everyone who contributed!

The team is still collecting pledges for the school lock-in. The way this works is:

  1. All seven team members are participating. They will be staying (locked in) at the school for up to 24 hours. They are each allowed to bring one friend as long as the friend also seeks and obtains pledges.
  2. Pledge an hourly amount for a team member, team member’s friend, both or all! For example, for a pledge of $1.00 per hour, the total amount would be $24.00 for each person sponsored, assuming they stay for the full 24 hours.
  3. If you have not been able to catch up with a team member and would like to pledge, please email your pledge information to team@actonom.org and provide:
    1. Your name
    2. Your telephone number
    3. Number of team members you would like to pledge for
    4. The amount (per hour) you would like to pledge.
  4. Once the event is over we will contact you with the total of your pledged amount

Of course if you don’t want to pledge but want to make a donation you can do that via GoFundMe, cash at one of our upcoming events or sending a check to school with “Acton OM” in the memo field.

Thank you.