LB Elementary Team Wins at State Problem-Solving Contest

Heads to World Level Tournament

Long Beach’s elementary school students have continued their longstanding success at the Odyssey of the Mind competitions, with two teams earning regional trophies, and one of those teams going on to finish in second-place at the state-level tournament.

Each team solved both spontaneous and long-term problems that comprised the competition. They practiced and prepared for the spontaneous portion, which required them to solve a newly presented problem on the spot, during weekend sessions led by parent volunteers.

As for the long-term component, the groups spent months working together after school in order to be ready for the event under the guidance of teachers Douglas Mac Connell and Justin Sulsky who coached the elementary Odyssey of the Mind teams.
The regional tournament was held at the Caroline Atkinson School in Freeport on March 18, 2017, and teams from all over Long Island competed. Long Beach’s elementary teams includes students from all four elementary schools. The state event took place on April 8, 2017, at Binghamton University.

Emily Backlin, Jack Clancy, Eldjima Djandabri-Holt, Samantha Feingold, Ruby Patton, Shayna Rivera and Sean Sarmuksnis placed second in both the regional and state tournaments. As a result of their success, they have qualified for World Finals, which will be held at Michigan State University in May. The team depicted how OMER inspired three artists -- Chen Hongshou, Rachel Ruysch, and an original team-created artist, Mr. Unknown, to complete three different pieces of art. The students recreated Plum Blossoms and Wild Bird and Still-Life with Fruit and Insects. They also created the original work Mr. Unknown's Garden.

Mia DiNardo, Orly Keynan, Laika Khan,Vincent Napolitano, Jack Passman and Zachary Scouton placed third regionally for their depiction of how a superhero saved creativity from a villain. In accordance with their problem requirements, they had a superhero, villain, and sidekick that blended in with society at times and revealed their powers at other times. They also included a choreographed battle and a cliffhanger ending!

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. It supports the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile traits that the district emphasizes throughout its curricula. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and other countries participate in the program.