B-P Odyssey of the Mind teams punch tickets to state tournament

All four of Broadalbin-Perth’s Odyssey of the Mind teams that competed in the regional tournament on Saturday, March 11 will be heading to Syracuse to take part in the state tournament on Saturday, April 15.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving competition that challenges teams to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. Each team presents its unique solution to its chosen long-term problem in one portion of the competition; in the spontaneous portion, teams must solve a problem they have never seen before given finite resources and a time limit.

During the regional competition, which was held at Johnstown High School, a total of six B-P teams competed, including two primary-level teams that are not scored. B-P was represented in four of the six long-term problems, including two teams that competed in Problem 4. 

Broadalbin-Perth’s Division 3 team will be seeking its third straight trip to the World Finals at next month’s state tournament. This year, the team competed in Problem 2, “Because iCan,” which challenged teams to create a device that makes tasks more complicated, including raising a flag and ringing a bell. The teams performance had to be held in a team-created laboratory and required a costume that changes its appearance. The BPHS team is coached by Carl and Allison Aery and consists of juniors Logan Aery, Jaciano Carrero, Lauryn Donahue, Blaine Herrick, and Jacob Hughes, and sophomore Ryan Michalski.

Broadalbin-Perth’s Division 2 team, coached by Mitch and Tammy Allen, competed in Problem 4, “Where’s the Structure?” In this problem, team members had to design and build a structure made of only balsa wood and glue that balances and holds as much weight as possible. The structure was required to have three parts, and each part was to be “hidden in plain sight.” During the team’s performance, team members had to reveal each part and assemble them into a final structure for testing. B-P’s team includes sixth grader Michael Crosier, fifth graders Nathan Allen, IvyRose Haessig, and Jack Thompson, and fourth grader Jackson Bagwell.

B-P Elementary School was represented by two Division I teams. The team coached by Jessica Jankowski and Kristen Twardzik competed in Problem 4, “Where’s the Structure?” and consists of third-graders Quynn Roberts and Daisie Twardzik, and second-graders Abel Crane, Jaxson Jankowski, and Triton Twardzik.

An elementary team coached by Sara Hisert and Rich Hart competed in Problem 5, “The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!!” Teams competing in this problem were challenged to create a humorous performance about a dramatic character that overreacts to common events, but whose antics are ignored during one situation in which their reaction is justified. BPES team members include third-graders Matix Dolly, Carter Doherty, Lillyana Geier, Sophia Hart, Emilia Hisert, and Finley Zielinski.

​​Broadalbin-Perth’s two primary teams presented solutions to the long-term problem “Dinos on Parade.” The teams were tasked with creating a performance about dinosaurs that featured a paleontologist character that discovers a “new” dinosaur invented by the team. The primary team coached by Amy Wurz included first graders Colton Costanzo, J.J. Kelley, Philomena Lane, Christopher Sinness, and Parker Wurz. The primary team coached by Pat Buhrmaster included first-graders Lawrence Buhrmaster, Grayson Gabriel, Antonio Leggiero, Wyatt Mirabile, and Miesha Ortiz.

The New York state Odyssey of the Mind tournament will take place Saturday, April 15 at the New York State Fairgrounds. The top two teams in the state from each problem and division will advance to the World Finals, May 24-27 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. For more information about Odyssey of the Mind, visit odysseyofthemind.com.