Last updated: February 15. 2013 8:38PM - 1017 Views

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Outside-the-box thinking, spontaneity and teamwork have been known to generate unique and workable solutions in many aspects of life. These skills and more were honed at The Northeast Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament held March 3 at Pocono Mountain West High School.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving competition. Students from grades K-12 receive a problem at the beginning of the school year that they must solve in an 8-minute skit that includes original costumes, scenery, technical elements and more. The event is visual as students are judged on the style and creativity of the appearance of all aspects of their performances.

This year more than 700 students from 45 schools in Bradford, Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties took part in the event.

Mary Beth Adelman, coordinator for the Abington Heights school district, believes students learn many valuable skills throughout the event process.

??One of the big goals of Odyssey of the Mind is giving the opportunity for creative problem solving,? Adelman said. ??The program teaches students that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Also, students have to do all the work themselves. The coaches can??t provide ideas or assist in any part of the projects. It??s all the kids. I think it??s quite empowering and they come up with some amazing things.?

In all, 16 teams competed from the Abington Heights School District with nine advancing to the State Finals April 14 at Pocono Mountain East High School. ??It was a great day filled with amazing creativity, teamwork, and fun,? Adelman said. At state finals, teams will compete to advance to World Finals at Iowa State University in May. All who finished in first or second place advanced to the state finals.

The top finishers from the district:

First Place:

Ooh-Motional Vehicle, Div II, Abington Heights Middle School

Team: Siobhan McKeon, Curt Murphy, Jared Rasmussen, Jonathan Ross,Ben Ulmer, Andy Wardach, Marshall Wells; Coaches: Arlis Ross, Deanne Rasmussen

You Make the Call, Div II, Abington Heights Middle School

Team: Kevin Albright, Brendan Conahan, Joey Fazio, Grace Hambrose, Sam Jubon, Marissa Lewis, Daniel Neary; Coach: Chris Neary

Weird Science, Div III, Abington Heights High School

Team: Celine Brunetti, Michael Burke, Evan Eckersley, Christopher Ferrario, Josie LaCoe, Patrick Lange, Morgan McKeon; Coaches: Amy Lange, Peggy LaCoe, Therese Brunetti

To Be or Not To Be, Div III, Abington Heights High School Team A

Team: Madeline Belknap, Natalie Belknap, Ellen Brown, Kelsey Brown, Emily Davis, Bryn Kizer, Meredith Westington; Coach: Debbie Belknap

Odyssey Angels, Div III, Abington Heights High School

Team: Eliza Andrews, Celeste Belknap, MariKay Van Fleet, Max Voyce, Chase Wickenheiser; Coach: Cathy Wickenheiser

Second Place:

You Make the Call, Div I , South Abington Elementary

Team: Karsan Diel, Dominick DeSeta, Spencer Janus, Anna Marchetta, Olivia Marchetta, Grace Phillips, Morghan Stiles; Coaches: Deb Marchetta, Shawn Diel

Odyssey Angels, Div I, South Abington Elementary

Team: Jules Colombo, Ashley Hamilton, Max Loiacono, Emily McCabe, Roy Slavin, Lily Whetsell, Kaelee Whipple; Coaches: Susan Potenzano, Gina McCabe

Odyssey Angels, Div II, Abington Heights Middle School

Team: Kate Coleman, Jordan Jarocha, Natalie Kozar, Victoria Munley, Brenna Phillips, Danielle Sanok, Katie Walsh; Coach: Rose Phillips

To Be or Not To Be, Div III, Abington Heights High School Team B

Team: Elizabeth Bamford, Nicholas Beckish, Rachel Gilmore, Alex Gockley, Jessa Sablan, Joe Sileo, Sarah Uhranowsky; Coaches: Teresa Beckish, Steve Beckish

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