Durham Community School OM team qualifies for World Finals

After two qualifying tournaments, a team of fourth and fifth graders from Durham Community School is headed to Lansing, Michigan, in late May to compete against teams from all over the United States and the world.

Odyssey of the Mind is a worldwide creative problem-solving program that challenges students of different age groups to work together to come up with unique and entertaining solutions to a predetermined problem.

This year the Durham team chose a problem focused on the works of Leonardo da Vinci, looking into his inventions and great works of art. They had to recreate three of da Vinci’s works in non-traditional ways, one of which was Moaning Lisa, a whiny denizen of da Vinci’s studio. While the presentations always generate a lot of laughter, there is serious learning going on. The problems mix science, technology, engineering, history, theater, and art to allow each student to tap into their individual strengths and push each other beyond their comfort zones.

It was a huge year for all of the Durham teams, with both the Division 1 and Division 2 teams advancing to the state tournament for the first time. The Division 1 team also joins a fellow RSU5 team from Freeport High School in advancing to the World Tournament. The Freeport High School team went to Worlds last year and has opted not to make the trip this year.

In an effort to fund the trip the students will be hard at work fundraising over the next few weeks. Those interested in supporting their efforts can visit the Durham Community School Odyssey of the Mind Facebook page for updates on these and other fundraising events. They have also set up a Go Fund Me page at bit.ly/2vdxlxy.

MSSM advances to regional math tourney

Maine School of Science and Mathematics public residential high school earned first place in the 43rd annual Maine State Math Meet for Maine Association of Math Leagues on April 2.

MSSM scored 846 points out of a possible 920 and had nine students earning medals. James Hawkes of Portland earned all possible 72 points, resulting in a gold medal for grade 11, MSSM junior James Hawkes was recognized as top scorer in the state during the regular season. Madison Albert of North Yarmouth, the only sophomore on the team, earned a Silver in her grade category.

The next step for the team will be the American Regions Mathematics League, a  competition simultaneously held at four locations around the United States. MSSM will join students who excel in mathematics from Maine high schools from May 30 to June 2 at Penn State.

Yarmouth student receives National Merit Scholarship 

Michael W. Guertler of Yarmouth was among the first round of students to receive National Merit Scholarships when the winners in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program were announced on April 17.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors.

Guertler, who attends Yarmouth High School, listed his probable career field as mechanical engineering. He received a scholarship from General Dynamics.

Durham Community School Odyssey of the Mind students celebrate after coming in second at the state OM competion. The team will now advance to the World Finals in May.