2023 Ranatra Fusca Awards

Problem 1: Pirates and the Treasure
Kariya Invent Club Boys and Girls
Kariya, Japan Division II
This team delivered an exceptional mechanical performance in all aspects of vehicle operation from propulsion to technical. This extraordinary team designed a linear actuator to retrieve their treasure and a forced gravity driven slide, creating gear reduction, that led to an improved one way ratcheting vehicle, with superior steering all wrapped up in a smooth entertaining performance.

Montgomery Area Public Library
Montgomery, PA Division III
Welding together two giant industrial-sized rotors from bucket trucks this team created a mighty flywheel that, when spun up with furious pedaling by hand, stored a vast amount of kinetic energy to help power their vehicle. To utilize the power another team member then employed a team created belt tension device to allow the vehicle to move. This was a unique and effective solution to creating and storing energy, self-contained on the vehicle. The judges were wowed by the scale and power of this propulsion system.

Problem 3: Classics…The Walls of Troy
Bryan Myers from Spring Grove Area Middle School Spring Grove, PA, Division II
Apollo would approve of the creativity of this youthful composer. As a young teenager, this OMer composed an entire piano sonata in a harmonic minor, expertly enhancing his team’s solution as it navigated from solemnity to hope. From the accompaniment for the Greek chorus to the interludes between scenes, the judges sat in awe as they listened to his impressive musicianship. Upon learning it was self-composed, we simply could not speak! A composition of this magnitude takes quite exceptional creativity…we’re talking Mozart here!
In a first for Odyssey of the Mind, this young received both an OMER Award AND a Ranatra Fusca Award for his extraordinary creativity and its impact on his team’s solution.

Providence High School
Charlotte, NC Division III
How do you conceal a replica Mustang convertible, built to scale, in an Odyssey of the Mind solution? What first appeared as an authentic Greek statue in front of a fraternity house magically transformed into a shiny red mustang, complete with working steering, a hood that popped open, a glove compartment housing Omer, and even fuzzy dice.
This team built a “mustang,” as their Trojan horse. A team member drove it and gifted it to a football player – nicknamed “The Wall” – to earn entry into the frat.
The car schematics and prototypes for this classic car creation were as cool as the hot rod itself. With a ride this nice, this team is definitely going places!
Problem 4: Where’s the Structure?
Jenks High School
Jenks, OK Division III
A larger-than-life pop-up book backdrop beautifully set the stage for each world the characters visited, allowing the actors to interact with the sets and puppet characters on them and really live in that world. Throughout the performance, they were able to travel in time, enter the world and change that world. The popup book changed to reflect what was happening. The musical score was composed to reflect each character and even revealed the protagonist was truly an antagonist from shifting between major to minor keys whenever she entered the scene.
Their structures were hidden within realistic 3D balsa animals and were completely invisible. It wasn’t until the witch recited her potion poem and the goblins retrieved the ingredients that the true purpose of the balsa animals was revealed. They integrated weight placement thematically, spatially, and costume-ly with their impressive performance.
Everything, Everywhere, all at once.

2023 OMER's Awards

Problem 1: Pirates & the Treasure
Division II
International School of Geneva Switzerland 42854
This team wowed the judges with their technical spontaneous knowledge. They skillfully utilized toothpicks, straws, and balsa wood in new, surprising, and effective ways to develop an exciting unexpected solution. Using a counter balance, the team was able to support their very tall structure easily and secured it with an innovative use of a portion of a paperclip as an anchor. Great job team!
Problem 3: Classics…The Walls of Troy
Division II
Bryan Myers from Spring Grove Area Middle School
Spring Grove, PA
Read the Ranatra Fusca section for OM history in the making!

Problem 3: Classics…The Walls of Troy
Division III
Helen Mao Wexford, PA 38105
Beauty is in the eyeliner of the beholder. This team used eyeliner to create elaborate, detailed, and beautiful tattoos on the skin of its team members, depicting the Greek gods. Using fine art skills and deliberate smudging, the tattoos look like they took hours or even weeks to create but were done just minutes before the team’s performance. The fine lines carried over into the team’s threaded theme, as the main character pulled on the thread of time, changing his fate. In fact, characters were “tied” to the wall, which continued the exceptional artwork that exemplified this team member’s exceptional aesthetic talent.
Problem 3: Classics…The Walls of Troy
Division II
Jung-Gaon Seoul Korea 44670
Jung-Gaon mesmerized us with her graceful movements, like those of a ballet dancer. Her hands spoke of her sorrow as her face revealed the pain of loss. Her ability to touch and express emotions without words amazed us.
Jung-Gaon’s talent took her team’s skit to an extraordinary level. She transcended the performance, taking us out of the gymnasium to the heart of her story with the poised placement of a hand just so, a collapse at just the right moment, the twist of a grimace, and a yearning reach.
Her talent was further demonstrated by seamlessly interacting and giving life to her shadow puppet co-stars. This young woman’s talent did more than entertain– it made us feel in a way that is unique to art.