• Feb. 24, 2023

    Middle school teams shine at Spontaneous Fun Day

    Boyce teamUpper St. Clair’s middle school teams had a successful day – placing first, second and third – at the Western Pennsylvania Odyssey of Mind Spontaneous Fun Day on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. The event was held at Linton Middle School in the Penn Hills School District.

    “Spontaneous Fun Day is an Odyssey of the Mind competition where teams from the Western Pennsylvania region gather to test their problem-solving skills before heading to the regional tournament in March,” Laura Murtough, USC Odyssey of the Mind co-coordinator, said. “At Fun Day, teams are given several problems to solve spontaneously or on-the-spot with no prior knowledge of the problem before entering the room.”

    Spontaneous problems are either verbal, verbal hands-on or hands-on in nature. Verbal problems require a spoken response. Verbal hands-on problems involve a physical solution with a spoken response. Hands-on problems are purely constructive, requiring the team to build or create their problem solution. Scores are given for creativity, teamwork and other measurable parameters.

    The Boyce Middle School team, coached by Stefani Wilkinson and Denise Campagna, earned first place in Division I, which includes students in grades 2-5. Team members include Emily Brooks, Eleanor Wilkinson, Matthew Campagna, Savannah Comiski, Evelyn Dolan and Amelia Wilkinson.

    Coached by Sarah Sams and Jake Collins, a team from Fort Couch Middle School placed second in Division II, which encompasses grades 6-8. Team members include Parker Sams, Michael Ryan Blessing, Samuel An, Nigel Bailey, Ashwin Vasudevan, Thea Scheuerle and Daphne Collins.

    Finishing in third place in Division II was the Fort Couch team coached by Dawn Predmore and Yesha Gandhi. Team members include Daniyal Badaruddin, Preston McLeod, Ian Putorti, Trevor McClintock-Comeaux and Rasika Khedikar.

    In total, seven of the 22 Odyssey of the Mind teams from Upper St. Clair School District attended the Spontaneous Fun Day event. Teams will compete at the Western Pennsylvania Regional Tournament on March 4, 2023, at Keystone Oaks Middle/High School. Top finishers will advance to the state competition on April 1, 2023, at Lock Haven University.

    Odyssey of the Mind is an international STEAM program that fosters creative problem-solving skills, teamwork and ownership in students from kindergarten through grade 12. For more information about Odyssey of the Mind in Upper St. Clair, visit www.uscootm.com or email uscootm@gmail.com.