The Pennington School’s Odyssey of the Mind team placed second in their division in the Lighthouse Regional tournament March 16.
The team had the top score in the spontaneous competition and is set to compete in the state contest in Ewing on April 13.
The team members include seventh graders Benjamin Dorph of Washington Crossing, Pa., Jacob Essig and Sara Essig of Princeton, Ayanna Johnson of Ewing, Nicholas Micheletti of Milford, Jake Papa of Hamilton Square, Mitchell Walker of Lawrenceville. Seventh graders Cole Felsher of Pennington and Finn McConaughy of Hopewell, along with middle school mathematics teacher Susan Wirsig of Yardley, Pa., coach the team.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem solving competition. Students in the tournament demonstrate long-term and spontaneous problem-solving skills.
For the long-term portion, students are given a problem to work on several months before the competition and present their solution at the event.
This year’s long-term problem required the team to design, build, and operate three vehicles that deliver parts to an assembly area. The team must create a signal that lets the audience know which vehicle is about to travel and deliver a part. The parts are assembled into a pet animal that, once assembly is completed, performs a trick.
The spontaneous competition requires students to solve a problem they have never seen before, often having to build or create something on the spot. The scoring especially values creative thinking.
The Pennington School, founded in 1838, is an independent coeducational school for students in grades six through 12. The curriculum is college preparatory, with an emphasis on developing students through academics, athletics, community service, and the creative and performing arts.
More information is online at pennington.org.