Magnolia students head to Odyssey World Championship |

Magnolia students head to Odyssey World Championship

From left to right, James Haworth, Carlie Harwood, Olivia Herr, Andrew Tice-Raskin, Logan Van Bourgondien and Brock Matiska make up the Magnolia Middle School Oddeyssey of the Mind team heading to Michigan for the world championships.
Submitted photo

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To contribute to the students’ efforts, go to, call/text 530-320-6502, or send checks payable to Pleasant Ridge Union School District, 22580 Kingston Ln, Grass Valley, CA 95949.

A handful of Magnolia Middle School students are heading to Michigan State University next month to take part in the Odyssey of the Mind world championships according to a release.

This is the first time any of the seventh and eighth graders will compete in the international event.

The students, Carlie Harwood, James Haworth, Olivia Herr, Brock Matiska, Andrew Tice-Raskin and Logan Van Bourgondien, successfully competed at the regional and state tournaments (placing second and first, respectively) to advance.

The challenge entails teams solving open-ended problems and presenting their solutions in a performance with hand-made props and scenery. Teams from throughout the U.S. and more than 20 other countries participate in the program. The team worked throughout the year to solve a problem integrating intellect, creativity and resourcefulness.

“Being a part of Odyssey and going to Worlds is an irreplaceable experience,” said Brock Matiska, Magnolia Odyssey team member. “We can’t wait to see what other teams have created, sport our official Worlds gear — the squid hat, and hopefully meet people from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.”

The students have been raising funds for their trip by selling ice cream and olive oil at various events. They have also set up a GoFundMe page. All funds raised will pay for transportation/flights, dorm lodging and meals. The group will also tour the university during their visit, as well as host a team from another country (assisting them get around and sharing their culture).

“They’ve worked so hard all year and made a lot of sacrifices to get here,” Nicole Tomasetti, Magnolia Odyssey director, said. “Being able to showcase their talents, see new places and meet people with the same drive is an amazing opportunity.”

The group will head to Michigan on May 21. The tournament, which also includes a creativity festival and NASA-sponsored events, takes place May 22-25.

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