OM Team Sets Eyes on World Finals

“It’s crazy that we’re going to the world finals and it’s only the first year in OM for three of us on this team,” said Colten Blue. “My friend Luke did OM and I thought it looked kind of fun so I joined this year. I’m super pumped we made it to the world finals.”

The team is made up of fourth and fifth graders. Cassidy Robinett, Sage Filipiak, Luke Plummer and Zane Truer have all been involved in OM prior to this year. The remaining three members of the team - Andrew Hinton, Claire Whittredge, and Colten Blue - are experiencing this world final success in just their rookie season.

Although it’s Claire’s first year, she said she was inspired by watching her older sister compete in OM. “It was so cool watching her perform and now I’m just so excited we get to go to worlds!”

Since advancing from the state finals to the world finals, team members have been busy constructing and painting additional props to add to their presentation as well as going over their lines and actions for the performance. 

“We’re all definitely excited. It’s amazing to see how much they’ve grown through this whole process and how they keep coming up with ideas. This team has a really good story they’ve put together for this challenge and they’ve worked really hard on tweaking some of their props for their presentation,” said coach Danielle Plummer. 

The team chose an OM problem called “AI Tech-NO-Art.” In this challenge teams must design, build and operate an artificial intelligence Tech-NO-Art device that determines if a work of art is beautiful or not. It will dismantle any art it deems not beautiful and rebuild it to be what it believes is a beautiful piece of art.

Teammates have been painting, building, practicing and dreaming, a little, about what the world finals will be like.  Andrew, another one of the rookie team members, admits he doesn't know exactly what to think about going to the world finals. “I like to build things and I like to be creative. I think OM gives me a challenge. I think worlds is going to be a lot of fun,” he said. 

Luke admitted he’s a little nervous about performing on a world finals stage. “I’ve never been to the world finals before so it’s very exciting but also a little nervous.” He said he plans to stay in OM for years to come. 

Teammate Sage agreed she wants to continue in OM. “I really like performing and being creative. I really like to spend time with my friends and make new ones. And I really can’t believe we’re going to worlds!”

Zane agreed that it’s hard to believe they’ll be representing TK at the world finals.  “The most important thing I think is to have fun! It’s really neat that I get to go to worlds with my friends and I just know it’s going to be a lot of fun!”

For Cassidy, going to the world finals is exciting, but she also wishes her sister, Shelby, who has helped coach the team all year, was going with them. Shelby is a high school senior with graduation ceremonies taking place at the same time as the OM world finals. Still, Cassidy said she’s excited about the opportunity to be on the world stage and knows her sister and coach will be rooting for them.

“I like OM because it’s creative and you get to do a bunch of fun stuff. My sister made it to worlds and now I get to go too. I just know it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to get to meet other teams from a lot of other countries. I just want to have fun while we’re there,” she said.

Assistant coach Toriey Pelton is filling in for Shelby at the world final. “For me as a coach, OM is really about helping them (the team members) pull out their creativity and find ways to use it. They get an idea, then grow it and make it better and they just keep coming up with more ideas. It’s fun to watch them work,” she said.

No matter how they do at the world finals, team members say they already are very proud of their accomplishment and that they are representing the Thornapple Kellogg School District. 

Watch out OM Worlds - here comes the Page Elementary team!