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Students Rank High at OOTM World Finals

Jun 03, 2018 09:41AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Three Manhattan Beach teams had impressive finishes in their respective categories at the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals last month in Iowa. The creative problem-solving competition challenges students to showcase their creativity, problem-solving skills, engineering ingenuity and teamwork.

The Manhattan Beach MIddle School team tied for 13th out of 57 teams; the Pennekamp Elementary School team placed 9th out of 46 teams; and the Pacific Elementary School team placed 16th out of 70 teams.

The three Manhattan Beach teams had advanced to the World Finals after capturing California state Odyssey of the Mind championships in each of their divisions in March in Riverside. At the World Finals in Iowa, the teams competed among more than 800 teams of students from upwards of 20 different countries and nearly each U.S. state.

This year marked the first time that Manhattan Beach teams (Pennekamp and MBMS) competed in a structural engineering challenge. The challenge required teams to build a structure, using only balsa wood and glue, weighing no more than 15 grams (approximately the weight of 2 nickles) that was at least 8 inches in height and 2 inches wide, to hold as much weight as possible within 8 minutes. 

At the World Finals, Pennekamp's group of 3rd and 4th graders built a structure that weighed 14.6 grams and held an impressive 805 pounds. Out of 47 teams, their structure held the second highest weight, and their structure was the top ranking U.S. structure in their division at the World Finals behind powerhouse China. 

Manhattan Beach Middle School's group of 6th and 7th grade students built a structure weighing in at 14.8 grams that also held 805 pounds. They tied for 7th highest weight in their division at World Finals.

The teams included:
For Pennekamp:
Zachary Green (3rd grade)
Matthew Yap (3rd grade)
Charlotte Fan (3rd grade)
Sierra Wolbert (4th grade)
Peyton Kuo (independent study)

Brian Chiu (7th grade)
Luke Green (7th grade)
Ashlyn Green (6th grade)
Andrew Fan (6th grade)
Abigail Seo (6th grade)

For Pacific (all 5th graders):
Amelia Rizika
Natalie Bernstein
Lauren Vick
Coco Johnson
Kyle Johnson
Charlie Kresser

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