Five B-P teams advance to OOTM state championship

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Broadalbin-Perth will be well represented at the 40th annual Odyssey of the Mind state championship in Binghamton Saturday after five teams advanced from the Region 21 tournament earlier this month.

Leading the charge for B-P is a Division III team coached by Dave and Megan Floyd in its 10th year of competition. The team, which consists of seniors Rhys Floyd, Erin Morrison and Ava Naple, and juniors Avery Fenton and Caylie Bleyl, will compete in two problems at the state championship, where they are seeking their fourth trip to the World Finals. 

Three Division II teams advanced. The Problem 3 team, coached by Alison and Carl Aery, consists of team members Logan Aery, Zoey Romeyn, Jacob Hughes, Blaine Herrick, Ryan Michalski and Lauryn Donahue. A team coached by Becky Gregory and Jess Allen will compete in Problem 4; team members are Ian Gregory, Tyler Allen, Zoe Allen, Antonio Priamo, Kaylee Matarazzo, Sam Spraker and Lillian Faulkner. B-P will also be represented in Problem 5 by a team coached by Meg Marsden and Mary Brown that includes Mairead Marsden, Alexandra Brown, Camille Calderone, Victoria Tambasco and Lorenzo Tambasco.

Last but not least, a Division I team will compete in Problem 2. The team, coached by Katie Murphy and Jaime Morin, includes team members Connor Murphy, Grace Izzo, Ryder Baldwin, Riley Fenton, Blake Shields, Marley Morin and Lola Dumblewski.

According to the organization’s website, Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their knowledge and ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment. Participants build self-confidence, develop life skills, create new friendships, and are able to recognize and explore their true potential. 

Students in grades 3-5 compete in Division I; those in grades 6-8 compete in Division II; and high schoolers in grades 9-12 compete in Division III. Each team works for months on a solution to one of the five long-term problems, and they present their solutions for judging at competitions. At each competition, teams also complete a spontaneous problem that they have never encountered before. 

The advancing B-P teams will present solutions to four of the five long-term problems:

  • B-P’s Division I and Division III teams will both present solutions to Problem 2, “Hide in Plain Sight,” which challenges teams to build a mechanical creature that changes its appearance three times to avoid being detected by a searcher character trying to find it.
  • A Division II team will compete in Problem 3, “Classics… Leonardo’s Workshop,” which asks teams to portray Leonardo DaVinci’s workplace, recreate a DaVinci painting, make a three-dimensional representation of one of his works, and present an original “debunked” creation that DaVinci “invented” but discarded.
  • Another Division II team will compete in Problem 4, “Structure Toss,” a carnival-themed problem in which teams will use a device to propel their original structures through the air before testing how much weight it will hold while portraying creative games of skill and chance.
  • B-P’s final Division II team – as well as the Division III team – will present solutions to Problem 5, “Opposites Distract,” in which teams must create and present a humorous performance about a sneaky character that distracts others while trying to take control of something by luring others into silly arguments before being caught.

The top two teams from each problem and division at the state championship will advance to the World Finals at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., May 22-25.