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Two PR Teams Qualify for State Odyssey of the Mind Finals

team members hold trophyMarch 5, 2024

Two Pine-Richland student Odyssey of the Mind teams qualified for the state finals following the Western Regional competition on March 2 at Keystone Oaks. 

Pine-Richland Middle School’s seventh grade team, including Sophia Cosgrove, Katie Gliptis, Ellie Kaufman, Ovini Liyanage, Lydia O'Leary and Violet Zappas, will travel to Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, on April 6, with parent coach Mrs. Amy Gliptis and sponsor Mrs. Kathy Deal, to compete.

A STEAM Studio team that includes five Pine-Richland High School students—seniors Nicolai Ezolt, Mia Tucciarone, Connor Foote and Michael Lattari, and junior Jillian Uzelac—won first place in their age division and will also travel to Swiftwater for the April competition. The high school team was also awarded the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award, the highest of all awards given in Odyssey of the Mind, for exceptional out-of-the-box creative thinking. 

Leading up to the March 2 regional event, teams spent the last five months solving a long-term problem and developing an eight-minute presentation for the competition.  Teams were also required to spontaneously solve a problem given on the day of the competition. Teams were scored on their long-term problem solution, presentation style and their solution to the spontaneous problem.

six students sit on gym floorPRMS' seventh-grade team created a presentation to solve the long-term problem Classics... Opening Night Antics: Some of the most entertaining and memorable performances are ones that overcome unexpected problems. Unexpected antics range from actors forgetting lines to backdrops falling and everything in between

The team demonstrated how the show must go on and portrayed the opening night of an original play based on the theme of a classic story. The creative emphasis of the problem was on the performance, how the theme of the classic story was presented, the set malfunction, unexpected sound effects, team-created antic and a theater critic character.  

The high school team was tasked with solving the same problem and had to write a skit to depict an opening night of a play in front of a live audience that included a set malfunction and antic to cause the play to go awry. The team wrote a musical for their skit with original music and lyrics.

The Odyssey of the Mind program promotes creativity by challenging teams to solve divergent problems. Through team brainstorming and role playing, participants learn teamwork, the appreciation and understanding of others, and that a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual.