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Published March 22nd, 2017
Lamorinda teams advance in Odyssey of the Mind competitions
Division III first-place winners (left to right): Sullivan Jordan (Campo), Sarah Inouye (OSA), Stephanie Wu (CPS), Caroline Kim (Head-Royce), Amy O'Connor (OIS) Photos provided

Many local teams competed in the Odyssey of the Mind Bay Area Regional Tournament at Concord High School on March 4. Four teams from Orinda and two from Moraga are advancing to the State Tournament at Heritage High School in Brentwood on March 25.
A Division III team, sponsored by Orinda Rotary, took first place for their solution to "Ready, Set, Balsa, Build." The problem includes building a balsa wood structure of no more than 15 grams that must hold as much weight as it can. The problem solution must incorporate the structure into a skit.
The team - Sarah Inouye, Sullivan Jordan, Caroline Kim, Amy O'Connor, and Stephanie Wu - have examined this problem with their coach, Michael Kim, for the last five years. "All the team members go to different schools now, so it's great that we still have Odyssey," said Caroline Kim. "We get to see each other a few times per week." The team has advanced to both the State and World Tournaments in past years. "It's nice to win," said Sarah Inouye, "but I've also gotten better at collaborating."
A Division II team from Orinda Intermediate School took first place in a problem that involved classics and art history. The team - Tom Inouye, Degen Naldoza, Jason Ritchey, Samantha Scott, and Owen Younger - created an original performance about time travelers looking to discover the inspiration for great works of art. Coached by Amy Inouye, the team often went to reuse centers in Berkeley and Oakland to design props and costumes. Tackling other problems in the past, this team has advanced to the State Tournament twice before.
Two Division I teams, both from Orinda elementary schools, are also advancing to State. The Glorietta Blue Team got first place in "Catch Us If You Can," a problem that includes the creation of vehicles. The Del Rey Blue Team came in second place in "Odd-a-Bot," a problem that involves the creation of a robot that learns by watching others.
In addition two teams sponsored by the Moraga Rotary are also advancing to the tournament.
Odyssey of the Mind develops creative problem-solving skills in students from kindergarten through college. Thousands of teams from the U.S. and about 25 other countries participate in the program.

Division II first-place winners (left to right): Tom Inouye, Owen Younger, Jason Ritchey, Degen Naldoza, Samantha Scott, all from Orinda Intermediate School.
Moraga Rotary Division 2 (Intermediate School) team (from left to right): Alex Clare, Sebastian Fojut, Jack Erickson-King, Vishal Lashkari, Ryan Erickson-King, Zac Yu. Photo Holly Erickson-King
Moraga Rotary Division 1 (Elementary School) team (from left to right): Julia Erickson-King, Zoe Seaman, Maddie O'Balle, Catelyn Cereghino, Elise Frippiat. Photo Holly Erickson-King

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