CMS Odyssey of the Mind teams qualify for state competition

Hard work put in by the three Odyssey of the Mind teams at Colonial Middle School (CMS) has resulted in two first place and one second place honors at the Pennsylvania Multi-Regional competition — and spots in the state competition. 

first students in costume doing a skit


"We work almost all year to win, so when we get that satisfaction, it's my favorite feeling in the world," said CMS Eighth Grader Aine McAleese. "It just all pays off, and it's amazing" 

For several months, the teams have been honing their creative spontaneous problem-solving skills and putting together original eight-minute skits that tackle challenges that affect the script, props, costumes, and theme. For example, the CMS team who ran the category for "OMer and The Beanstalk" had to reimagine a childhood story while including works of art that incorporated baking soda and having a set piece that appeared to grow. 

"This year, we based our skit on feminism, a topic that really speaks to all of us," said Emma Hoffman from the OMer and The Beanstalk team. "We used Odyssey as a platform to get our message across while having fun and being creative."

Here are the winners:

Problem: OMer and The Beanstalk

Rank: First place Overall, First place in Long-Term Problem (skit), First place in Spontaneous Problem-Solving

Girl gluing pieces to other girl's costume


Team members (eighth graders): 

  • Aine McAleese

  • Ryan Bass

  • Ellen Fang

  • Emma Hoffman

  • Naomi Hoffman

  • Natalie Lieberman

  • Sachita Upadhya

Parent coaches: Liz Goldman and Elyse Hoffman


Problem: Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning

Rank: First place Overall, Long-Term Problem (skit), Third place in Spontaneous Problem-Solving

Team members (sixth graders): 

  • Hollis Becker

  • Sydney Saulino

    five students in costume doing skit


  • Harry Schreiter

  • Jinay Sheth

  • Jillian Sinese

  • Kaili Stauffer

  • Zoe Walinsky

Parent coaches: Lori Walinsky and Erin Saulino


Problem: Superhero Socks: A Cliffhanger Beginning

Rank: Second place Overall, Long-Term Problem (skit), First place in Spontaneous Problem-Solving

Team members (sixth and seventh graders): 

  • Samantha Couzens

  • Stephanie Davies

  • Eleanor Hormell

  • Talya Maddox

  • Leo Nasatir

  • boy wearing cardboard tank with yellow peep


    Nathan Stieg

Parent coaches: Steve Hormell and Jason Stieg

"Ever since I started Odyssey in fifth grade, it has been my escape," said CMS Eighth Grader Ryan Bass. "Although quarantine brought its challenges, it also brought some amazing opportunities to be creative." 

The teams were also helped by student volunteers who worked with the teams on developing their Spontaneous Problem Solving skills. These eighth grade mentors are Jackson De Guzman, Natalie Dyck, Lukas Nosal, and Thomas Warshaw.