• April 20, 2018

    Two teams qualify for OM world finals

    Boyce team Two teams of Upper St. Clair students are headed to Iowa State University to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals set for May 23-26, 2018. To qualify, the teams finished first in their respective problem/division at the state finals on April 7 at Pocono Mountain School District.

    The teams were comprised of students from Boyce Middle School and Upper St. Clair High School.

    The Boyce team, which solved the Division I technical problem, includes Jake Casares, Anastasia Gzikowski, Esha Lathia, Peter Markovitz, Owen Mucho, Ben Murtough and Ben Seewald. The team is coached by Meridith Markovitz, Stacey Seewald and Laura Murtough.

    “This team was tasked with creating an original emoji that was once famous but now forgotten,” Mrs. Murtough said. “They were also required to devise three storyteller emojis that each performed a different function: one grew in size, one changed from one emoji to another and one turned into a team member. The biggest challenge for this problem was to perform with sounds, but no spoken words!”

    High School team The high school team tied for first place in the Division III classics problem. Team members include Victoria Cuba, Brianna Lin, Joseph Markovitz, Max Murtough, Sammie Seewald, Constantine Tripodes and Eric Wang. Coaches include Laura Murtough, Meridith Markovitz and Stacey Seewald.

    “This team of ninth graders created a mockumentary of the classic novel Peter Pan,” Mrs. Murtough said. “Combining traditional documentary elements such as interviews, a voiceover and behind the scenes action, they created a funny, fictional account of the classic story.”

    In total, six Upper St. Clair teams qualified to compete in the Odyssey of the Mind State Finals. 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, structure and performance – with three divisions in each – elementary, middle and high school.

    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.”