• March 9, 2017
    Record 10 Odyssey of the Mind teams advance to states

    Of the 19 Upper St. Clair teams that competed in the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament, a record high of 10 teams qualified to advance to the state competition.

    “We believe that the most number of teams to have advanced in the past is seven,” Laura Murtough, coach and Odyssey of the Mind program co-coordinator, said.

    In order to qualify for the state competition, teams must finish first or second in their respective division and problem. The advancing teams are comprised of students from all six Upper St. Clair schools.

    “Each team worked from October through March to creatively solve one of five problems from Odyssey's STEAM-based program, which requires that students receive no outside assistance from teachers, parents or friends,” Mrs. Murtough said.

    The teams going on to states represent Divisions I (elementary), II (middle school) and III (high school) and their eight-minute solutions include the vehicle, classics, balsa and performance problems. At the competitions, they are judged on creativity and risk-taking.

    First Place:

    • Vehicle Problem - Division I: Michael Conte, Armen Pettit, Jack Lowden, Anushka Sharma, Virginia Gaither, Taylor Latiolais, Tyler McClintock-Comeaux /Coaches: Rusheen Pettit, Beatrice Conte
    • Classics Problem - Division II: Sara Hess, Antara Cleetus, Shivani Jajoo, Bryce Keating, Joe Phillips, Chris Jahn / Coaches: Alison Hess, Ponny Jahn
    • Vehicle Problem - Division II: Matthew Earley, Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Daniel Seewald, Philip Markovitz, Josilyn Seftchick, Grace Kelly, Marina Gzikowski / Coaches: Meridith Markovitz, Stacey Seewald
    • Performance Problem - Division II: Joseph Markovitz, Max Murtough, Constantine Tripodes,Brianna Lin, Victoria Cuba, Eric Wang, Sammie Seewald / Coaches: Laura Murtough, Stacey Seewald, Meridith Markovitz

    Second Place:
    • Vehicle Problem - Division I: Addie Young, Collin Rosenberg, Geneva Eisinger, Lauren Ginsburg, Kurt Baran, Lily Simons, Ellie Simons / Coaches: Nate Eisinger, Simon Rosenberg
    • Vehicle Problem - Division III: Jacob Conte, Yash Jajoo, Maggie Lowden, Christina Conte, Gracie Lowden, Isabella Putorti, Vivek Babu / Coaches: Rachel Lowden, Beatrice Conte
    • Balsa Problem - Division I: Jeffery Zhang, Anand Jani, Colin Green, Ben Ross, Holt Eberhardt, Devesh Jani, Harrison Barker / Coach: Autumn Barker
    • Classics Problem - Division I: Anastasia Gzikowski, Esha Lathia, Stella Moss, Ben Murtough, Jake Casares, Peter Markovitz, Ben Seewald / Coaches: Stacey Seewald, Laura Murtough, Meridith Markovitz
    • Performance Problem - Division I: Rachel Thomas, Shubham Patel, Garrett Ziegler, Neil Joon, Leah Levine, Katie Kucherawry, Janelle Knierim / Coaches: Heather Ziegler, Stacy Knierim
    • Performance Problem - Division I: Taylor Gibbs, Lylah Kateeb, Camryn Friday, Natalia DiSora, Sadie Tomczyk, Chloe Faist and Anoushka Barve / Coaches: Lauren Gibbs, Stacey Friday

    The Western Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind regional tournament was held March 4, 2017. The state competition is set for Saturday, April 1, 2017, at Moon Area School District. Teams that finish first or second advance to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals held May 24-27 at Michigan State University.

    According to its website, “Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program for K-12 and college students. Students learn the value of brainstorming and teamwork, as they grow their self-confidence and appreciation for the ideas and strengths of others while in an encouraging team-focused atmosphere.”