In The Schools

Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament Held in Edison, J.P. Stevens Team Sets State Record

Credits: Reeta Aggarwal
Credits: Reeta Aggarwal
Credits: Reeta Aggarwal
Credits: Reeta Aggarwal

EDISON, NJ – The Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for kids from kindergarten to college. The 2015 Liberty Regional Tournament for New Jersey Odyssey of the Mind met Saturday for an all day event at J.P. Stevens High School.

A new New Jersey State Record was set by J.P. Stevens High School Team B in Division III of Problem 4 - Lose Your Marbles. Their builders built a structure out of 18 grams balsa wood and glue that held 1365 lbs.

125 teams competed in three divisions on six different problems. 60 teams from various Edison schools competed on the elementary, middle and high school levels.

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“Many teams at JPS were successful because the district in invested in students doing well in Odyssey of the Mind,” Benny Parekkadan, history teacher at J.P. Stevens High School said. “There is a great feeder program that allows students to begin to get involved in Odyssey of the Mind in their early years.”

The J.P Stevens High School team members applied their ingenuity and creativity to solve problems that ranged from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then brought their solutions to competition for the regional’s and now advance to state level. 

“The excitement was high, the classrooms and presentation rooms were packed, the creativity and talent was amazing and the organization was perfect,” Reeta Aggarwal said.

Judging was done on the long term problem, style and the spontaneous problem. The top three teams in each problem and division will go onto the state finals. Each advancing team was presented with a trophy for the school and medals for each team member.

At the Division III high school level, it was J.P. Stevens across the board for 1st place in all five problem areas taking 2nd and 3rd place in all areas expect two. 22 teams from Edison schools will advance onto the state finals.

The Lighthouse Regional Tournament will be held later in March in Woodstown, NJ. Winners from both regional tournaments will move on to the New Jersey State Tournament on April 11 in Haddonfield, NJ, the winners from the New Jersey State Tournament will then compete in the World Tournament at Michigan State University from May 20 through May 24.

The winning teams and team members from J.P. Stevens are listed below.


The team’s problem is to design, build and operate one or more vehicles that will travel on tracks and make stops at different stations without touching the floor. While traveling between stations, the vehicles must overcome obstacles —moving uphill, towing something, and more. 

 J. P.  Stevens High School Team C – 1ST Place

  • Bharathi Balaji
  • Chelsea Cheng
  • Jennifer Guo
  • Anna Huang
  • Siddarth Kanoongo
  • Rishabh Kasarla
  • Veronica Meliksetian

J. P.  Stevens High School Team A – 2ND Place

  • Elizabeth Chiu
  • Anjali D’Amiano
  • Karen Jiang
  • Rishabh Kapoor
  • Sydney Lin
  • Vincent Lyau
  • Akshay Yeluri

J. P. Stevens High School Team E – 3rd Place

  • Aniya Ahmmed
  • Annum Faheem
  • Michelle Fang
  • Kunal Kanwar
  • Rhea Kanwar
  • Ruhi Kanwar
  • Rachna Vemireddy  


The problem is to design, build, and demonstrate various devices that complete specific tasks. The team will create a theme where technical failures must be resolved through completing the tasks. There will be a list of tasks to choose from including ring a bell, change the wording on something, sound an alarm, move an object, etc

J. P. Stevens High School Team B 1ST Place

  • Kelly Chen
  • Amulya Mutnari
  • Ram Patel
  • James Soole
  • Shruti Sundaresh
  • Josh Thomas
  • Suhav Toteja

J. P. Stevens High School Team A – 2nd Place

  • Shravan Hariharan
  • Christopher Kim
  • Jacqueline Quan
  • Belal Said
  • Nina Tang
  • Michelle Tsung
  • Jacqueline Wen  

J. P. Stevens High School Team E – 3rd Place

  • Naina Asthana
  • Sharif Hasan
  • Kammi Law
  • Jason Lee
  • Kayla Luis
  • Ryan Minor
  • Annie Weng


In this classics problem, teams will put a video game spin on the story of Pandora’s Box. A gamer character will take on this multi-level game inspired by the Greek myth. The game will include a prologue that depicts the original story of Pandora’s Box, three characters representing different evils that escaped the box, and a power meter that represents the gamer character’s health. To beat the game, the player will advance to the final level where it will release hope into the world.

J. P. Stevens High School Team A – 1st Place

  • Yixin Jiao
  • Pragati Khandelwal
  • Mihir Khanolkar
  • Maya Robles
  • Mandev Singh
  • Chhavi Verg
  • Alice Wang

J.P. Stevens High School Team E - 3rd Place

  • Harshita Jain
  • Andrew Jin
  • Tushar Khan
  • Richard Kim
  • Pranavi Parsi
  • Lera Vezard
  • Grace Wang


This problem requires teams to design, build, and test a structure, made only of balsa wood and glue, that will balance and support as much weight as possible. The structure will also hold five marbles that will be released during weight placement as a result of a team-created device removing a piece of the structure. After the crusher board and one additional weight are placed on top of the structure, the first marble will be released. After the next weight is supported, the team will use its device to release another marble, and so on.

J. P. Stevens High School Team B – 1st Place

  • Akash  Adani   
  • Eric  Duong  
  • Brian  Sun  
  • Casey  He  
  • Nidhi  Patel  
  • Claire  Yang
  • David  Zhao

 J. P. Stevens High School Team A – 2nd Place

  • Nina D’Amiano
  • Sam Jiang
  • Divya Korada
  • Melanie Lim
  • Patrick Pei
  • Matthew Tang
  • Adithya Thiruvalluvan

J. P. Stevens High School Team C – 3rd Place

  • Narayan Agrawal  
  • Vijay Anand  
  • Aishwary Desai  
  • Farhan Patel  
  • Nishi Patel  
  • Smit Shah  
  • Stephanie Zhu  


In this problem teams will create and present a performance depicting a Director character that produces and presents a silent movie featuring a humorous villain character that commits three silly acts of “villainy”. Characters that are in the movie may not speak as part of the presentation of the movie. Instead, like classic silent films, the team will use music played on a team-created instrument and creatively displayed subtitles to convey its story to the audience and judges.

J. P. Stevens High School Team A – 1st Place

  • Tanya Bhardwaj
  • Aneesh Despande
  • Maria Galochkin
  • Jenny Huang
  • Esha Lalla
  • Grace Kau
  • Aseem Utrankar

J. P. Stevens High School Team D – 2nd Place

  • Ravi Desai
  • Alice Fang
  • Siddharth Hariharan
  • Isabel Li
  • James Trousdale
  • Joany Xue
  • Susan Zhao

For more information on all winning teams visit New Jersey Odyssey of the Mind

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