• March 8, 2024

    Eight teams advance to Odyssey of the Mind State Finals 

    First PlaceEight Upper St. Clair teams finished in the top three of their respective divisions at the Western Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament – advancing to the State Finals on April 6, 2024, at the Pocono Mountain School District in Swiftwater, Pa.

    DIVISION 1 (gr. 3-5)

    • First Place: Eisenhower Elementary School, Performance Problem
      Team members: Kara Mercer, Amelia Wilkinson, Isidora Lukic, Abigail Elders, Zomorrod Zalloum, Henry Wazenegger and Colton Lenhart. Coaches: Stefani Wilkinson and Jelena Lukic
    • Second Place: Streams Elementary, Vehicle Problem
      Team members: Julia Ross, Ellie Finnegan, Roman Duffy, Emily Michalak, Quin Thorp, Ben Caesar and Cole Hirzel. Coaches: Brett Duffy and Nadine Michalak
    • Second Place: Boyce Middle School, Balsa Problem
      Team members: Marcelina Enos, Penelope Collins, Avery Metcalf (back), Elliot Sams, Penny Weinberg, Kendall Zielinski and Lula Griffin (not pictured). Coaches: Sarah Sams and Jake Collins

    DIVISION 2 (gr. 6-8)

    • First Place: Boyce Middle School, Technical Problem
      Team members: Keira Mycoff, Jacob Reinford, Caroline Fingal, Drew Holzer and Lydia Calkins. Coaches: John Reinford and Josh Mycoff
    • Second Place: Fort Couch Middle School, Performance Problem
      Team members: Seth Pedretti, Enoch Katru, Violet McLeod, Austin Szpara, Luciana Putorti and Scarlett Burgess. Coaches Kyle Burgess and Kristy Szpara
    • Third Place: Boyce Middle School, Technical Problem
      Team members: Emma Mycoff, Savannah Comiski, Matthew Campagna, Em Brooks, Evelyn Dolan, Eleanor Wilkinson and Luka Beric. Coaches Denise Campagna and Stefani Wilkinson
    • Third Place: Fort Couch Middle School, Performance Problem
      Team members: Daphne Collins, Thea Scheuerle, Parker Sams, Sam An (back), Ashwin Vasudevan and Nigel Bailey. Coaches Sarah Sams and Jake Collins

    DIVISION 3 (gr. 9-12)

    • First Place (tied): Upper St. Clair High School, Performance Problem
      Team members Kurt Baran, Geneva Eisinger, Lauren Ginsburg, Chloe Faist, Preston McLeod, Ian Putorti and Daniyal Badaruddin. Coaches Dawn Predmore and Nate Eisinger

    The annual regional tournament was held on March 2, 2024, at Keystone Oaks Middle and High Schools. In total, 23 Upper St. Clair teams with 148 students from all six USC schools competed against teams from across the region.

    Each team of students worked together for five months to solve a “long-term” problem in one of five chosen categories: vehicle, technical, classics, balsa or performance. At the tournament, teams were given eight minutes to present their solutions for a panel of judges and were required to provide supporting paperwork, including a budget breakdown of their work.

    Teams were also required to solve one “spontaneous” problem that was given to them on the spot. Combined scores in both categories (long-term and spontaneous), along with additional points for style, provided the tournament results.

    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. One of the trademarks of the program is its “no outside assistance” philosophy. All ideas, scripts, props, solutions and paperwork are generated by the team members with no input from coaches, parents or teachers.

    For more information about Odyssey of the Mind in Upper St. Clair, visit www.uscootm.com or email uscootm@gmail.com.