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Loyalsock Odyssey of the Mind Team Qualifies for World Finals

Loyalsock Odyssey of the Mind Team Qualifies for World Finals

A Loyalsock Township Middle School team is advancing to this year’s World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind!

The Loyalsock team was one of 13 teams from North Central PA participating in the statewide tournament at Pocono Mountain East schools on April 6 where 151 teams presented their solutions. Those who placed first or second in one of 15 divisions moved on to the World Championship at Iowa State University May 21 to 24. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program for students worldwide in K-12 and college.

Odyssey of the Mind is a problem-solving competition that promotes creative thinking in students from kindergarten to college. The students are grouped into teams and select a problem to solve; their work must be done completely on their own without input from adults or other outside interference. The problems are broad in scope, ranging from building mechanical devices to presenting interpretations of literary classics.

The students write a script, create costumes and props, and may work with electronics, building, artwork, and other modalities, all on their own. At the competition, after months of work, teams present their solution to a panel of judges, who rate for creativity and how well the project met the very detailed goals outlined in the problem. Teams compete in Elementary, Middle School, and High School divisions at Regional and State Tournaments, with the top two teams in each division qualifying for World Finals. Loyalsock Township Middle School won second place in problem 3, “Opening Night Antics”.

The team is comprised of seven students in grades six and seven: Bella Devlin, Aiden Flynn, Jude McHenry, Scarlett Roma, Violet Trapkus, Jeremiah Vincent, and Jasper Skellenger. To solve the “Opening Night Antics” problem the students had to create an original performance depicting the opening night of a play that did not go as planned. The play had to be based on the theme of a selected classic story. During the presentation of the Opening Night of the play, a set malfunction, an unexpected sound effect, and a team-created antic had to occur. The team created a unique solution that advanced them through the Regional and State-level competitions, and now on to World Finals!

In addition to their play, the team was also presented with a problem on the day of the Tournament, called a spontaneous problem, that must be solved quickly utilizing the skills they have garnered over previous months of practice. Their coach, PJ Roma, described the group as an “all-star team loaded with talent and creativity. They jumped right in this year working very hard to develop their ideas and keep everything in line with the criteria of the problem.”

Michelle Bartley, Coordinator of the Loyalsock OM Program, said “A successful OM team has exceptional creativity, teamwork, willingness to take risks, perseverance, and compromise.”

The World Finals will take place in Ames, Iowa May 21–24 where over 800 teams worldwide will be participating. Those interested to “Help Loyalsock OM team get to Worlds” may donate on GoFundMe at or by contacting Loyalsock Odyssey of the Mind at

Press Release