An Odyssey of the Mind team from Seneca Intermediate School (Salamanca Central School District), coached by Janette McClure, was awarded the Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award at the Odyssey of the Mind 2022 World Finals held at the Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The Awards and Closing Ceremonies took place on Saturday, May 28, 2022, after three days of competition.
This team qualified for the World Finals tournament after finishing in first place at both the Region 19 and NY State Finals held in March of 2022.
McClure’s Division 2 team was one of five teams out of a total of 638 teams from the United States, Poland, Switzerland, and South Korea to receive this prestigious award.
The Ranatra Fusca Creativity Award is given to a team or individual for demonstrating outstanding creativity. This award embodies all that the Odyssey of the Mind program represents. Individuals and teams who receive this award at World Finals are presented with gold medals, and their coach receives a plaque for their school. The team’s name is engraved on the large Ranatra Fusca trophy. This tradition has been honored every year since 1980.
The Ranatra Fusca trophy is displayed each year at the World Finals Awards Ceremony and the Creativity Festival. It has also been on display in Explorer’s Hall at the National Geographic Society building in Washington, D.C.
Those who are interested in the origin story of this award’s unusual name can find out more at https://njootm.org/ranatra-fusca-creativity-award/
The following excerpt was written by the judges and announced at the Awards Ceremony:
Problem 4: Matryoshka Structure
Seneca Intermediate School, Salamanca, New York -Division 2
Judges could not BEE-lieve the detailed workmanship, risk-taking, and attention to detail in this team’s solution. The audience was enchanted by the story of squirrels battling bees. The team built a magnificent beehive in a tree that showed ambitious design and workmanship. The sheer size and multiple functions were tricky to implement, and the visual details were stunning. It also functioned as a working scale weighing the pollen from the bees and the nuts from the squirrels. It showed risk-taking because it had to be assembled once time started. There was also an inventive moth costume whose wings floated with no apparent movement by the team member thanks to creative engineering by the team. The varied use of materials used throughout the performance was inventive and convincing, even the membership sign captured the judges’ attention. It looked like a real honeycomb, but upon closer inspection, it was made of tongue depressors and had a motor that made it look like there were bees magically floating around it.
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programs
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