Starry night for BRHS Odyssey team |

Starry night for BRHS Odyssey team

Amara Richardson, Logan Kaper, Kenzi Kaper, Kerri Lohse, Andrew Bergman and Matt Schaefer, all students at Bear River High School, won the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in Maryland Tuesday, showing exceptional creativity in solving unique problems on a tiny budget.

“It’s a huge thing for them,” said Anne Vaaler, Richardson’s mother, after listening by her husband’s cellular telephone to the crowd cheering the team’s victory.

With 800 teams in the international competition, the Bear River team faced 40 teams in their division of high school students solving a problem in the classics.

The team chose the theme of “Those Wonderful Muses,” with Richardson portraying the Greek muse Urania as she attempts to persuade a depressed and asylum-bound Vincent Van Gogh to resume painting.

Team members created costumes, sets and inventions around their theme, and stayed within a budget of about $125 for props such as an umbrella frame, aluminum foil stars and a recreation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in “beans and trash,” Vaaler said.

The team’s presentation was completely in rhyme and meter, Vaaler added.

The team’s victory was cinched with an additional competition in solving another, unrelated problem with just a few minutes to plan an impromptu response. Their problem involved launching objects over three strings strung at odd angles, Vaaler said.

Four team members will graduate on Saturday.

To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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