APS News Release

Several APS Teams Take Home Top Prizes at VA Odyssey of the Mind Tournament

Several teams from APS took home the top prizes at the Virginia state Odyssey of the Mind tournament.

The teams have worked throughout the school year solving an Odyssey of the Mind problem and were judged as having the most creative solutions, which involved theatrical presentations, kid-engineered machines and vehicles, original music, puppetry, set construction, and kid-designed costumes. In addition, the teams all competed in a “spontaneous” round where they had to solve a surprise problem creatively in a limited amount of time.

Swanson Middle School

  • 277777096_1015856873113226nAPS winners include an eighth-grade all-girls engineering team from Swanson Middle School, called the Tinkering Teens, that earned a perfect score, winning all three categories of the competition in their division. The Swanson girls team was also awarded a coveted Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award for demonstrating outstanding creativity that embodies all that the Odyssey of the Mind program represents.
  • The Swanson team took 1st Place at State Tournament in the Technical Problem 2, Division 2, and also included a member from Dorothy Hamm Middle School and a member from Fairfax County Public Schools, Longfellow Middle School.
  • The team constructed a story that took place in an underwater coral reef environment. Coached by parent Christina Headrick, the team includes Buse Arici, Emma Cai, Nora Johnson, Kaitlin Madison, Zella Mantler, Katie Martin and Kaitlyn Nowinski. This is a return trip to World Finals for this team which has placed third in the world before and finished in the top ten teams internationally in their division four times.
  • The Tinkering Teens are headed to the World Finals in Ames, Iowa.

Glebe Elementary School

  • 277753559_101585625821671n277806469_1015856681336340nA Glebe Elementary School vehicle team can also call themselves state champs, with a 1st Place win in the Vehicle Problem 1, Division 1 competition. The fifth-grade Glebe team called the Shockingly Smart Squirrels, is pictured in costume in front of their student-created escape room where an astronaut and space vehicles completed tasks to free planetary characters.
  • Coached by Kendra Russell and Jessica Bauserman, team members include Elizabeth Erwin, Genevieve Holt, Marshall Irvine, Nolan Russell, Lewis Weaver, Coleman Johnson and Layla Noizet.
  • The Shockingly Smart Squirrels are also headed to the World Finals in Ames, Iowa.
  • Two other Glebe teams also placed in the Problem 2 technical engineering competition, in Division 1. Second place was awarded to a third and fourth-grade Glebe team, who are pictured in spacey costumes, which helped them tell the tale of cleaning up space junk, with their coach Kirsten Braun. Team members include Margaret Braun, Lark Pickett, Whitney Madison, Maddie Kelly, Laura Saperstein, Libby Collins and Ava Michalski.
  • 277755590_1015856239305870nThird Place in the Technical Problem 2, Division 1, was awarded to another third and fourth-grade Glebe team, called the Star-Spangled Whiskered Donuts, who are pictured with their set at the “Rat-Dish” Cafe. This very punny team, who filled their script with rat-themed jokes, and built two machines with weights and pulleys, was coached by Headrick. Team members include Grant LaFalce, Dash Mantler, Analia Pagliano, Isaac Greene, Xavier Sohrn, Brennan Gyor, Mary Rodgers and Miranda Holt.
  • Two additional Glebe fourth-grade teams also placed highly at the state tournament.
  • The fourth-grade Glebe team coached by Stephanie Smarr and Stephanie Reed placed 7th in Division 1, Performance/Humor Problem 5. Team members included: Ethan Lankin, Graham Delacourt, Claire Smarr, Taarini Gulia, Wesley Reed, James Keppler and Rowan Youngbull.
  • The fourth-grade Glebe team coached by Martin and Kristen Doczkat placed 6th in Division, 1, vehicle problem 1. Team members included Jeffrey Burke, Hunter Doczkat, Lucas Hand, Harrison Recksiek, Greta Lesh, Gauri Pathak and Sita Pathak.

Other APS Teams

  • Other APS Teams that finished strong included a Long Branch Elementary School vehicle problem 1 team, which placed 2nd in Division 1 and who will be attending World Finals.
  • In the Problem 5 performance/humor competition, a Thomas Jefferson Middle School team took 2nd place in Division 2, and a Tuckahoe Elementary School team took 3rd place in Division 1. Both also received invitations to attend World Finals this year, as well as top honors at the state tournament.

These teams earned invitations to attend the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, where thousands of students from around the United States and the world will travel to Iowa State University in Ames this May.

Congratulations to all the teams who represented APS!