Bucks County Herald

Pennridge High School team makes Odyssey of the Mind World Finals



From left are: Back row, Madeleine Lange, Ashton Muhlig, Alyssa Anderson, wizard mascot, Thomas Reid, coach Brian Kuebler, Gavin Kuebler; front row, Anna Dant and Linda Reid. Not pictured is Carly Levy.

A group of ninth-graders from Pennridge High School advanced to the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, the largest creative problem-solving competition in the world.

The Pennridge Odyssey of the Mind program is growing: the district entered five teams this year. Four teams qualified to compete at the state level where the high school won its place at World Finals.

For the past nine months, team members Alyssa Anderson, Anna Dant, Gavin Kuebler, Madeleine Lange, Carly Levy, Ashton Muhlig and Thomas Reid worked together to solve an assigned problem that involved creating a humorous performance centered on a science fiction hangout that includes original creatures, foods and a search for space treasure. In order to solve the problem, the team developed an original script, and designed and produced a theatrical performance, including design and construction of a portable set, as well as props and costumes.

The competition also includes a spontaneous session where teams are presented with a problem they have to solve on the spot in just a few minutes, testing their mental agility, creativity, engineering skills and teamwork. Team coaches Linda Reid and Brian Kuebler supervised; but, Odyssey rules dictate that they were not allowed to help the team in any way.
“Everything about their performance - from the script, to costumes and sets - all of it was 100 percent envisioned and created by the students,” Reid said. “Everyone at Pennridge is so proud of them.”

The team won second place at the Odyssey of the Mind Regional Competition March 17, and on April 7 advanced to the World Competition as one of only two Pennsylvania teams in their division to win at the state level.

The Odyssey of the Mind World Competition is a four-day event to be held at Iowa State University May 23 to 26. The Pennridge team will compete against teams from all 50 states and around the world.

Since its inception in 1978, Odyssey of the Mind has recognized the importance of science, technology, engineering and math skills, and has partnered with organizations such as NASA.

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