Area youths go far in Odyssey of the Mind match


March 12, 1996|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SOME GIFTED young people have spent the past few months on an odyssey of sorts -- an Odyssey of the Mind.

The culmination of months of brainstorming and hard work was displayed last weekend at the Western Maryland Regional competition of Odyssey of the Mind in Hagerstown.

The program is an educational effort aimed at fostering creative thinking and problem-solving skills among students from kindergarten through college.

By working in teams to solve problems in a variety of areas -- from building mechanical devices to giving their own interpretation of literary classics -- students gain skills in group dynamics, decision-making and creative thinking.

Competing in Division I (elementary students), solving a problem called "Amazing Crusin," were Jackie DelGiorno, Deanna Edwards, Matt Hammond, Zach Hinton, Nicole Hladky, Keith Locklear and Michael Robbins. This young team was coached by Mark DelGiorno and Dave Robbins.

Area middle school students who competed to solve the problem were Kristy Burke, Stacey Burke, Bobby Khaksari, David Leahy, Keith Parker, Tim Sensel and Katy Welsh, aided by coaches Bridget Leahy and Karen Parker.

In the "OMvention" category, students competed to design a new product to assist a person with a physical disability or to redesign an existing product for the same purpose.

Coached by Jim Mitchell, Paul Hinton and Dwight Hunsicker, middle school students Elizabeth Bakos, Jay Clark, Niall Downing, Brianna Hinton, Chrissy Hood, Adam Hunsicker and Kyle Mitchell designed a kitchen cabinet that can be lowered to serve people in wheelchairs.

Competing in the "Tall Tales" problem were Ken Buerger, Mike Buerger, Ariel Canter, Dan Cottrell, Julie Erickson, Lindsay Podobnik and Melissa Trumpler, who were coached by Mike Trumpler.

In the "Glacier Gus and the Enormous Snowfall" category were: Dave Sivert's team of Greg Hladky, Pam Maldeis, Kristen Petruccelli, Emily Sivert, J. D. Sivert and Niamh Tighe.

In the "Great Impressions" problem, Jessica Chiarmonte, Matt Chiarmonte, Andrew Guertler, Scott Huber, Mitra Khaksari, Teresa Leahy and Kathy Parker worked with coaches Bridget Leahy and Karen Parker.

Mike Chambers guided Chris Bennett, Tim Chambers, Brad Rankin, Kristen Trumpler and Maggie Wunderlich through the same problem.

Months of hard work by team members, coaches and parents was rewarded with a very successful showing by area teams.

Jim Mitchell's team placed first in Division II with its OMvention. Mike Chambers' team captured first and Bridget Leahy's team second in Division I of the Great Impressions problem. And Dave Sivert's team also placed first with its solution to the Tall Tales problem in Division II.

Students and coaches are preparing for the state competition April 20.

Pub Date: 3/12/96

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