They're dressed like Peter Pan, a ninja, a robot and a group of mice, but these Elmwood Elementary School students aren't practicing for a school play—they're part of two competitive teams of problem solvers in the schools' Odyssey of the Mind program.
Next weekend, these students will take their show on the road and perform before a panel of judges at a statewide competition held at the Harbor School in Owings Mills.
The performances are wholly owned by the students—they choose their own prompt and respond to it by creating costumes, props and a script.
The prompts are issued by Odyssey of the Mind to participating schools. One group chose an engineering problem that led them to build a complicated "Goldberg" machine used to stir pudding out of found and purchased objects.
The other chose to give a guided tour of two real-world locations—including Ravens Stadium, where, according to their script, Lady Gaga was born—and an imagined location of their choosing—in this case, Thrillerville, based on song by the late King of Pop.
If the Elmwood students succeed at the Harbor School, they will move on to the next round of competition: Worlds, held at the University of Maryland College Park campus. There, both teams will compete against teams from other schools around the country and the world.
One Elmwood Odyssey of the Mind coach, art teacher Cara Liggett, likes her team's chances.
"If you ask me how I'm feeling, I'd say pretty confident," she said.