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Odyssey of the Mind places at nationals

Northwood’s Odyssey of the Mind club placed 7th overall after sending three teams to compete at the national Technology Student Association (TSA) Tests of Engineering Aptitude Mathematics and Science (TEAMS) competition held in Atlanta, Georgia from June 22-25.

Advised by science teachers Kent Paris and David Monge, senior Snehin Rajkumar and former president Suhn Kim captained the two upper division teams, (Teams 1 and 2 respectively) consisting of upperclassmen, while junior Zubin Kumar led the lower division underclassmen team.

“We were all very nervous before the competition, as there were hundreds of very qualified schools that were in contention,” senior and current president Vinayaka Srinivas said. “Because the competition was such high stakes, we knew that we had to perform at our best level to have a chance.”

The competition consists of three parts: an Engineering and Testing challenge, a video and a presentation discussing their research in an upcoming scientific concept.

This year’s theme was “Engineering the Environment.” Each team was tasked to engineer a model house that best insulates heat and present research on improvements that could be made to a transportation system in a particular area.
Last year, we placed in the top 10 in the nation, and we hoped to better our ranking this year,” Srinivas said. “We knew that this opportunity was very exclusive, and as a result, we had been preparing for months to perfect our knowledge of the testing and practice our presentations.”

Their overall ranking was the cumulative result of each team’s performance: Team 1 placed 6th in the Engineering and Testing challenge, Team 2 placed 4th for prepared presentation and the lower division placed 6th for their video presentation.

I had a lot of fun,” senior William Pandes said. “It was great to compete after all the hard work we had put in, and see it finally pay off as we placed. We were able to bond with all of our teammates, competing against like-minded individuals from across the country in subjects that we were very passionate about.”

Odyssey of the Mind meets every Thursday during lunch in Room 923. There will be an open lunchtime information session held on Aug. 30 to discuss the competition and future tryout dates.