News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current


El Camino Creek students make top 10 in Odyssey of the Mind

Park Dale Lane Elementary fields successful regional team
El Camino Creek Elementary School in Carlsbad fielded a team, The Very Imperfect Princesses, for 2024’s Odyssey of the Mind competition. Left to right: Loretta Barnes, Scarlett Moss, Sophie Richardson, Sophie Keene, Nina Haase, Aria Lopez and Lauren Hallam. (Team photo)

El Camino Creek Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders solved their way to a winning end to their spring with a successful run at the global Odyssey of the Mind competition in Ames, Iowa.

The students’ team, The Very Imperfect Princesses, placed 9th out of 57 teams in Odyssey of the Mind’s World Finals, held May 27-30 at Iowa State University. The Very Imperfect Princesses competed in the division-one Classics category with 57 teams representing 46 states and 10 countries, according to a team news release.

The team’s journey began earlier in the spring when it won first place at a regional tournament at Moreno Valley High School and took second at the state championships in March, which secured its qualification for the World Finals.

Odyssey of the Mind was founded more than 40 years ago to foster creative problem-solving by young students, according to the organization’s website. The goal is to have students freely engage in idea generation and feedback without fear of criticism.

The Very Imperfect Princesses were coached by David Keene and Stephanie Barnes and consisted of students Aria Lopez, Lauren Hallam, Loretta Barnes, Nina Haase, Scarlett Moss, Sophie Keene and Sophie Richardson.

The success of the team at El Camino Creek Elementary, a Carlsbad campus in the Encinitas Union School District, is inspiring growth in Odyssey of the Mind elsewhere in the district.

“This is the third year in a row that El Camino Creek has qualified a team for the World Finals but this year’s is the first to not feature sixth graders,” the team’s news release stated. “The interest in the program is growing throughout the Encinitas Union School District.”

Park Dale Lane Elementary School in Encinitas fielded its first team this year, which placed third in the regional tournament’s Classics … Opening Night Antics Division I in the spring.

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