Weston teams soar at Odyssey of the Mind competition

The Precise Bots team from the Weston Intermediate School will represent Connecticut in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Top, from left, Devin Banks, Irene Yee, Jack Wohlford, and Dylan Field. Bottom, Kyler Murphy, Michele Zana and Cyndi Chen.

The Precise Bots team from the Weston Intermediate School will represent Connecticut in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. Top, from left, Devin Banks, Irene Yee, Jack Wohlford, and Dylan Field. Bottom, Kyler Murphy, Michele Zana and Cyndi Chen.

A team of students from the Weston Intermediate School will represent the state of Connecticut at the 2017 Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

The students are members of the team Precise Bots — Devin Banks, Cyndi Chen, Dylan Field, Kyler Murphy, Jack Wohlford, Irene Yee, and Michele Zana. The team won second place last month at the Odyssey of the Mind Connecticut State Competition with its solution to an engineering problem involving precision and a balsa wood structure. A school in Stamford finished first.

Connecticut is sending the first- and second-place winners to the finals, which will take place in May at Michigan State University. The Precise Bots team is raising funds to offset its travel and transportation expenses. To donate online, go to youcaring.com/precisebots-788055, or contact team coaches Edina Field at [email protected] or Elizabeth O’Connor-Wohlford at [email protected] or 203-293-4811.

Odyssey of the Mind is a K-12 international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities, such as building mechanical devices or presenting a team’s own interpretation of literary classics. Students then take their solutions to competition at local, state and world levels. Thousands of teams from around the United States and about 25 other countries participate in the program. Visit odysseyofthemind.com/ for more information.

Three years ago, Rudd Anderson, who runs the gifted and talented program in the Weston Intermediate School, revived Odyssey of the Mind after a break of several years. The program runs with the help of parent volunteer team coaches. In only its second recent year, Weston sent its first team to the World Finals in 2015, when the Silent JAAMS represented the state with their interpretation of silent film.

Last month Weston teams once again competed in the state competition, and three teams scored medals. In addition to the Precise Bots, the Odd-A-Bots, with Chloe Liu, James Martin, Jayadita Rajan, Winston Revzon, Nicholas Spencer, and Lucas van Laerhoven, won third place with their problem solution for creating and operating a robot imitating humans. The Catch-Us-If-You-Can team, Celia Blechinger, Max Blechinger, Darien Caputo, David Fridman, Jack Kendall, Kavan Patel, and Graham Zeppernick, won third place, tackling a problem centered on building vehicles to reach a destination while presented with obstacles.

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