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Which problem will you solve?

1: Pirates and the Treasure

2: Because iCan

3: Classics ... The Walls of Troy

4: Where's the Structure?

5: The Most Dramatic Problem Ever!!!

Primary: Dinos on Parade!

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Seneca Intermediate School Seneca, New York Division II

Problem 4: Matryoshka Structure

Judges could not BEE-lieve the detailed workmanship, risk-taking and attention to detail in this team’s solution. The audience was enchanted by the story of squirrels battling bees. The team built a magnificent beehive in a tree that showed ambitious design and workmanship. The sheer size and multiple functions were tricky to implement and the visual details were stunning. It also functioned as a working scale weighing the pollen from the bees and the nuts from the squirrels. It showed risk-taking because it had to be assembled once time started. There was also an inventive moth costume whose wings floated with no apparent movement by the team member thanks to creative engineering by the team. The varied use of materials used throughout the performance was inventive and convincing, even the membership sign captured the judges’ attention. It looked like a real honeycomb, but upon closer inspection it was made out of tongue depressors and had a motor that made it look like there were bees magically floating around it.

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Updated: May 30

Speyer Legacy School, New York, NY Division II

Problem 3: Classics… (Name Here): The Musical Production

Hans Christen Anderson once proclaimed that when words fail, music speaks. Never was that more apparent than with this team’s musical solution. Joy, anger, power, frustration, and sorrow were interpreted through the chords, melodies, and lyrics of team composer Lizzie O’Rourke.

From start to finish, the judges were held captive by her guitar skills and team member voices as they delivered this 100% original score to interpret the life and struggles of Dr. Edward Jenner, the creator of the vaccine. The duet between Dr. Jenner and a skeptical mother generated tension and resolve through simultaneously layered melodies that climaxed at a peak dynamic level before transitioning into a sobering ballad. The room was completely silent as the ghost of the child sang to his skeptical mother. This melancholy moment was ironically captured through a major key, a huge risk as most composers choose minor keys and chords for sad moments. Lizzie made this risk work by melding the risky key with softer dynamics and flawless guitar technique.

We witnessed nothing more emotional than this performance. The most impressive aspect is not that this music was composed by a middle school student, but that it was composed by a middle school student in just 4 days! However, a song is nothing without performers to bring it life. This creative musical production was truly a team effort.

Check out the full performance...

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