Special Awards

Ranatra Fusca Award

The Ranatra Fusca Award, named for the water strider insect, promotes and recognizes exceptional creativity. This award represents the essence of the Odyssey of the Mind program. The Ranatra Fusca Award is given to teams or individuals who display tremendous creativity at competition. This award serves as an incentive for risk-taking and out-of-the-box thinking for Odyssey participants.

Ranatra Fusca is the term for a classification of water insects. Although this may seem like a remote association to creative thinking, it is not as far off as it sounds. When our founder, Dr. Sam Micklus gave his college students an assignment to create a flotation device to transport themselves across a pond, one student designed a water strider-like contraption. This contraption did not solve the problem because of its inability to maintain proper balance. Even though the first attempt at the device did not work properly, the idea was exceptionally creative.

The Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award represents the essence of the Odyssey of the Mind program. It is presented to teams OR individuals who exhibit exceptional creativity either in some aspect of the problem solution, their behavior, or through an extraordinary idea beyond the problem solution.

A successful solution to the problem is not a criterion for winning the award; rather, the award is a way to acknowledge and encourage creative thinking and risk taking. Many Omers and coaches regard the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award as being equal to, or more prestigious then winning a first place trophy.

This is why a team that is willing to take a risk or be exceptionally creative, and is awarded the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award at the State Competition will also win the right to advance to World Competition along with first place winners.

2012

  • St. Marks HS (P2 Div 3) - Delaware State Tournament

2013

  • The Charter School of Wilmington B (P5 Div 3) - Delaware State Finals

2014

  • The Charter School of Wilmington A (P4 Div 3) - Delaware State Finals

2015

  • Claymont Elementary School (P3 Div 1) - Delaware State Finals

2016

  • Barrel of Makers (P2 Div 3) - Delaware State Finals

2018

  • MOT Charter HS A (P2 Div 3) - State Finals Competition
  • Beacon MS (P4 Div 2) - State Finals Competition
  • The Charter School of Wilmington B (P4 Div 3) - State Finals Competition

OMER's Award

The OMER's Award is given to teams and individuals for showing Odyssey spirit. This includes teams and team members, or anyone involved with World Finals. It can be someone who showed some type of artistic talent, good sportsmanship, teamwork, or even for going beyond expectations to help others. An OMER's Award is given to anyone who serves as an outstanding example of Odyssey spirit through their words or actions.

It can be given to coaches, team members, parents, officials, or others who serve as positive examples or role models by their actions and words or to team members who exhibit exceptional skill, as opposed to creativity.

2012

  • Cameron Goff (Indian River MS, P3 Div 2)
  • Kelly Hanson (Timekeeper, P5)
  • Charter School of Wilmington A (P2 Div 3)

2013

  • Callahan Smith (Conrad School of Science, P2 Div 3)

2014

  • Heritage Elementary School (P4 Div 1)
  • Lake Forest Program D (P1 Div 3)

2015

  • Everett Meredith MS (P2 Div 2)
  • Ry'ana Johnson (P2 Div 2)
  • Girl Scout Troop 1482 (P3 Div 3)
  • Desi Pilla (Conrad School of Science, P4 Div 3)
  • Nikki Pilla (Conrad School of Science, P5 Div 2)

2016

  • Lois Cromwell (Problem Captain, P4)
  • Cliff Cromwell (Long-time Judge, P4)
  • Conrad School of Science (P1 Div 3)

2019

  • Caroline Davis (Smyrna MS, P5 Div 2) - Qualifying Tournament 2
  • Claymont Elementary (P4 Div 1) - State Finals Tournament