Odyssey teams headed to World Finals

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:31

WESTFALL - Three teams from the Delaware Valley School District are going the World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind. Students will travel to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa from May 24 to May 27 to compete against teams from countries around the world. They earned the right to compete in the world event at the April 8 state competition in Altoona. The Delaware Valley Elementary School “vehicle” team placed first out of fourteen teams in its division. The team solved “The Great Parade” problem, which required members to design, build, and drive a vehicle used as three different floats in a parade. In their eight-minute performance, the seven team members explored the “quirky questions” and “wacky facts” of life. The team includes Britta Beck, Emily Belsterling, Dylan Brown, Elijah Collins, Dana Hunt, Luke Reixinger and John VanVynk and is coached by parents Patrick Beck and Michael Hunt. The high school “structure” team tied for second place out of eleven teams. Its problem called for construction of a structure of balsa wood and glue that incorporated different geometric shapes into its design. Members had to test the structure for its ability to balance and support as much weight as possible, while incorporating a replica of the structure into an eight-minute performance. The team adapted the story of Peter Pan, making Peter the host of a TV cooking show called “Peter and the Pan.” The team is made up of Dustin Balton, Jaclyn Bealer, Richard Cheng, Brittany Naundorff, Matthew Neumann, Katlin Shoup and Liz Witkowski and is coached by Amie Montemurro, a graduate team member. The high school “vehicle” team won third place and the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award, which includes an invitation to compete at World Finals. The Ranatra Fusca Award is presented to teams that exhibit exceptional creativity or risk-taking but do not necessarily receive the most points during competition. The team was nominated for the award for its hydraulic-powered vehicle that weighs in at more than 800 pounds and carries three team members. Judges said it “appeared to glide gracefully around the course.” The vehicle team includes Ryan Balton, Steve Boyle, Brigette Indelicato, Sarah McKean, Eric Neumann, Mike Osterberg and Robert Pike. It is coached by math teacher and DV team alumnus Scott Llewellyn. Thirteen Delaware Valley won the right to compete at the state competition in regional competition. The district is among three in the state to send three teams to world finals.