Forty Westfield students, working in teams, demonstrated creativity, ingenuity, and presentation skills in specific problem-solving categories at the Gateway Regional Odyssey of the Mind Tournament on March 10 in Edison. Three teams placed 1st, advancing to the Odyssey of the Mind New Jersey State Finals on April 6 in Ewing.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program for students from kindergarten through college. According to its website www.njootm.org, “team members apply their ingenuity and creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics,” bringing their solutions to regional, state and world competitions.
“All of the students prepared solutions to long-term problems that were presented at competition and judged for creativity and style of the solution,” said Suzanne Rosenthal, Volunteer Coordinator of the Westfield Odyssey of the Mind. “The students also must face a “spontaneous” problem onsite at the competition to show their ability to improvise and display teamwork.”
The Gateway Regional Competition results are as follows:
- Westfield Primary Division team - Honorary Mention: Lilly Carotenuto, Anya Desai, Zoya Jaggi, Zain Nasser, Madelyn May, Vani Srivastav and Leah Wood with Coaches Mohammed Nasser and Sushmita Srivastav.
- Edison Intermediate School Division 1, Classics Team - 5th Place: Anya Ausiello, William Crozier, Zoe Hohlfeld, Liam Kilbourn, Ben Lyons, William Song, and Cecilia Wiggins with Coach Tara McGroddy
- Edison Intermediate School Division 2, Vehicle Team - 1st Place: Benjamin Ackerman, Ted Crall, Lucas Gunzberg, Owen Ing, Avery Keith, Nathan Reynders, and Maxwell Rotter with Coaches Aaron Keith and Ken Rotter.
- Edison Intermediate School Division 2, Technical Team - 3rd Place: Carson Donnelly, Benjamin Duan, Jamie Foerst, Jessica Lee, Ian LeWarn, and Daniel Pierce (Roosevelt Intermediate School) with Coach Cara Foerst.
- McKinley Division 1, Technical - 1st Place: Christian Buonopane, Emma Crall (Wilson School), Amelia Ing (Wilson), Dylan Lagrimas, Madeleine Smith, and Logan Welsh with Coaches Hilary Crall and Suzanne Welsh.
- Tamaques Division 1, Classics - 1st Place: Mahie Panjwani (Jefferson School), Nikki Patel, Alice Schaefer, Etta Schaefer, Madeline Schlitzer (Jefferson), Sonya Seideman (Jefferson), and Bridget Whitlock (Jefferson) with Coaches Lee Schaefer and Mary Wickens.
“We extend a note of gratitude to the Westfield Parent Teacher Council for sponsoring the parent-run Odyssey of the Mind program in Westfield and to the parent coaches who have graciously volunteered their time to guide the students for these competitive events,” said Rosenthal.