OMER’s Awards

Bus drivers from Indian Trails
The Indian Trails bus drivers went above and beyond to make Odyssey teams and supporters feel at home while on MSU campus. Their cheerful willingness to help others showed true Odyssey spirit. They made kids from all over the world feel welcome in a new place and helped ease the stress of travel and competing. They weren’t just drivers with passengers; they became tour guides, cheerleaders, and friends. Thank you Indian Trails!

Collingswood Rec Navy, Collingswood, NJ Omer to the Rescue, Again, Division: II
This team arrived at its venue an hour before its performance to find that its vehicle was missing. Someone must have thrown it away! After the initial panic, the team decided to treat the dilemma as a spontaneous problem.  Using teamwork and items donated to them by other teams that finished competing, team members incorporated their newly created vehicle into a humorous, entertaining, engaging solution.  The Staging Area Judges were impressed by their positive can-do attitude throughout the day, a true demonstration of the Odyssey problem-solving spirit.

Ranatra Fusca Awards

Fateledora, Seocho-gu, South Korea Hide in Plain Sight, Division, III Spontaneous
This team designed a gravity-defying solution supported between two tables. They used toothpicks, a spoon, and other items to make a cutting device to cut a pool noodle in half.  They used the pool noodle halves, amazingly supported by only one side of each table, and added materials to the middle for higher score. Showing amazing teamwork, this team talked to each other, had amazing synergy, were like “one brain” while they focused on solving the problem. All four judges were amazed at this unique solution.

Corbin HS, Corbin, KY Leonardo’s Workshop, Division III
This team’s use of materials was as creative and varied as the DaVinci works they re-created. The judges were blown away by both the variety and execution of nontraditional materials used in six remastered paintings, fashioned from soap shavings, curls, paste, and slivers, as well as zip ties and used chewing gum. From a distance, the artworks appeared to be painted, but on closer inspection the judges were amazed to discover a plethora of interesting materials used in unexpected ways to create a beautifully coherent set.

Geneseo Central School, Le Roy, NY Leonardo’s Workshop, Division III
There are many ways to create a set, prop, or a costume change, but this team brought it to a completely new level. It used math to solve a Classics problem.  This team transformed an unassuming 2×4 wooden frame into a perspective sculpture, hanging several hundred wax cylinders from the top of this cube. The placement of each cylinder within the 3-D plane was carefully calculated and mapped to transform the original structure of DaVinci’s Vitruvian Man into a bee when the frame was rotated 90 degrees.

Verna, Kristen, Carolyn from Manhattan Beach Middle School, Manhattan Beach, SO CAL Structure Toss Division II, Spontaneous
This team used many materials in a creative way while trying to solve our WACKY problem. One of the most creative solutions was a device that applied principals of physics which amazed even the judges. They spontaneously created a “fishing- pole” type device that had a rubber band pendulum that held and released a ball at the correct time. This unique and very risky solution awed the judges, even though they had seen many other creative solutions over the three days.

Belmont Ridge Middle School, Leesberg, VA Opposites Distract, Division II
This team’s use of cardboard in its engineering of the representation of the Sneaky Character was an innovative use of the material. The character was a broken and then functioning mantel clock made of connecting cardboard gears. The Mantel Clock wanted to stop time for everyone because she could no longer go forward in time. When she was outed as the Sneaky Character, the Past and the Future came together to replace her missing cardboard gear. They also presented her with new ideas in the form of cardboard lightbulbs with metal bases that when connected caused her metal hat made from a decorated tent to light up and spin at increasing speeds with each new idea.

Delaware Valley HS, Milford, PA Opposites Distract, Division III
This team showed exceptional creativity by taking the judges behind-the-scenes and into its creative process during a skit-within-a-skit unfolding in real time that brought the audience on the roller coaster that all Odyssey teams experience. An interconnected cube system that was reconfigured into a variety of shapes served as the blank canvas upon which the team’s intricate scenery would come to life. As the skit began, two members drew freehand simplistic line drawings on two different settings. As the scenery changed, the lines flawlessly connected to create an entirely new illustration, rendering the judges speechless. The evolution of ideas seen through the ever-changing scenery mirrored the progression of an Odyssey team working towards a solution. This team exemplified the very essence of Odyssey through creativity, risk-taking and ingenuity.