Five teams from the Massapequa School District competed in the New York State Odyssey of the Mind contest at Binghamton University April 12 after dominating the regional tournament last month. While no trophies were brought home, students called the opportunity “a once-in-a-lifetime experience” that gave them a great sense of accomplishment.
Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program based on creative problem-solving. Students select from a variety of problems that range from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics and compete at the local, state and world levels.
A team from Fairfield and another from Unqua competed at the Division I level for grades 1-5. Fairfield’s team members, coached by Jennifer Tand, included Ethan Jackson, Joseph Mocniak, Brian Bongiorno, Aryon Seraji and Joseph Rollo. Unqua’s team, coached by Loree Moran, consisted of Alyssa Buback, Erin O’Grady, Addison Taylor, Annabelle Lesser and Caroline Pappas.
Two more teams, one from McKenna and another from Lockhart, competed at the Division II level for grades 6-8. McKenna’s team members, coached by Elizabeth Natke, included Daniel Lobaccaro, Matthew Prusan, Aidan Gregory, Jared Gould Christopher Merlini and Christopher Bruhnke. Lockhart’s team, coached by Joanne Markowski, consisted of Joseph Pattay, Talia Cartafalsa, Kirstin Lisnoff, Juliette Liebov and Jessica Gruenfelder.
A team from Massapequa High School competed on the Division III level for grades 9-12. Team members were Amanda Gordonson, Joe Mottola, Mackenzie Conkling, and Courtney Conkling. The team was coached by Matthew Swanson.
“We are very proud of our students for attaining this opportunity to compete at the state level and for displaying exemplary levels of levels creativity, collaboration and problem-solving throughout this year’s competitions,” said Superintendent Lucille Iconis, who attended the state tournament.