Odyssey of the Mind Teams Cinch Regionals

Jessie Kathan, News Editor

After months of preparation, both high school Odyssey of the Mind teams swept regionals, earning two gold metals at the February 25th creative competition held at Concord High. Both teams will advance to the state competition.

Odyssey of the Mind is a competitive program based on two problem-solving challenges: the long-term and the spontaneous. The former is an eight-minute dramatic and technical performance that responds to one of five prompts, which change each year. The teams are judged on their artistic creativity and ingenuity. The spontaneous is a prompt the team receives with no preparation, which may be verbal or hands-on.

A team of five seniors, the self-christened “Torque-Dorques,” placed first for the second time consecutively. Although the team had no competition in their division and therefore placed first automatically, they are enthusiastic about advancing to the State competition. Their prompt called for a performance about scientists investigating mysterious events, with a technological “sample taking” device. For this, team member Chris DeMatteo created a remote controlled device with a homemade vacuum and electromagnet. Last year the team advanced from state to the world competition, held in Maryland last year and in Iowa this year.

Said DeMatteo, “I’m really proud of my teammates and how we came together.”

The other team, which also won by default, is made up of sophomores, and performed a problem that was more performance-based.

In addition to the high school teams, four teams from elementary school and three from middle school represented Moraga at Regionals. Two elementary level teams will also be advancing to state.

The Moraga Rotary has sponsored all Odyssey teams within Moraga since 2005. Odyssey sponsor Rich Render said although in the first couple of years of the program no Moraga teams advanced to state, they are now “getting the reputation as being extremely good competitors.”