A team of fifth-grade students from San Ramon's Golden View Elementary School are heading to the "Odyssey of the Mind" World Finals next month, qualifying with a high finish at the state tournament of the creative problem-solving competition last weekend.
Neil Ghose, Isaac Lee, Kannan Cidambaram, Vivek Maryala and Anirudh Pai placed second in their division during Saturday's state event at UC Riverside, booking their spot in the international final at Michigan State University on May 19-22.
"I am so proud of our Golden View Odyssey of the Mind team. They are an exceptional group of students who have pushed their thinking to new heights. We are so glad they will be representing our school at this next prestigious level," Golden View Elementary principal Christine Huajardo said in a statement.
Hosted by the nonprofit organization Creative Competitions, Inc., Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition that aims to help students develop skills in problem-solving, critical-thinking, teamwork, math, science, writing, engineering and the performing arts, according to Elizabeth Graswich, spokeswoman for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.
In the California tournament, the Golden View team worked through "Runaway Train" -- one of five pre-defined problems in the event.
"In this, their challenge was to build a self-propelled vehicle that would overcome different obstacles as part of its journey," Graswich said in a statement. "Apart from the engineering solution, the students also wrote an original humorous script to depict the vehicle's experience, created the props and costumes, and finally presented their skits in front of judges."
The Golden View squad's performance earned second place out of 17 teams in the division.
Now, the quartet will be among the 800-plus teams from across the United States and 25 other countries with a chance to compete in the world finals.
The local team is seeking donations and sponsorships to cover the costs of transportation and lodging for next month's event, according to Graswich. To learn more, contact team coach and parent Deb Dhar at email@example.com or Golden View administrator Terri Sutak at TSutak@srvusd.net.