• April 18, 2017
    USC Odyssey of the Mind team heads to world finals

    Odyssey of the Mind team A team of Upper St. Clair students is headed to Michigan to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals set for May 24-27, 2017, at Michigan State University. To qualify, the Division 2 team finished second in the performance problem at the state finals.

    Team members include Joseph Markovitz, Max Murtough, Brianna Lin, Eric Wang, Sammie Seewald, Victoria Cuba, Constantine Tripodes and coaches Laura Murtough, Stacey Seewald and Meridith Markovitz.

    “Their solution to the problem – ‘To Be Continued: A Superhero Cliffhanger’ – included a larger-than-life brain setting, a unique choreographed battle and a special smoke effect, earning them top marks for their problem solution and style elements,” Mrs. Murtough, coach and Odyssey of the Mind program co-coordinator, said.

    A record high of 10 Upper St. Clair teams qualified to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind State Finals, which were held April 1 at Moon Area School District. In order to advance in the competition, teams must finish first or second in their respective division and problem.

    The state competition is divided into five problems – vehicle, technical, classics, balsa and performance – with three divisions in each – elementary, middle and high school.

    “All Upper St. Clair teams competed against 12-15 teams in their problem and division with competitors coming from all areas of Pennsylvania,” Mrs. Murtough said. “With 10 Upper St. Clair teams at the event that meant 70 students with red USC Odyssey t-shirts could be found around every corner! We're so proud of all of them!”

    In addition to the second place team, three Upper St. Clair teams placed third in their division/problem:
    • Vehicle Problem—Division 3: Gracie Lowden, Yash Jajoo, Maggie Lowden, Vivek Babu, Isabella Putorti, Christina Conte, Jacob Conte / Coaches: Rachel Lowden, Beatrice Conte
    • Vehicle Problem—Division 2: Marina Gzikowski, Josilyn Seftchick, Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Phillip Markovitz, Grace Kelly, Daniel Seewald, Matthew Earley / Coaches: Meridith Markovitz, Stacey Seewald 
    • Classics Problem—Division 2: Chris Jahn, Bryce Keating, Shivani Jajoo, Sara Hess, Antara Cleetus, Joe Phillips / Coaches: Alison Hess, Ponny Jahn
    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.”