Mind games

June 09, 2000
Santa Paula News

GATE students, from the left, Matthew Kohr, Christopher Castro, Travis Marella, Breanna Castaneda, Allyson Gailketsis, and Erik Stenshol, are thoughtfully putting together their structure. The Bedell team, ``The Smartalics'' came in second place overall in the Mind Olympics.

Every year gifted and talented students (GATE), under the direction of Leslie Borchard, look forward to their day at Steckel Park. Mind challenges included problem solving feats such as designing a helmet for an egg that will keep it from splattering. The project tried impressing upon the student that accidents are the leading cause of injury to kids. Wearing a helmet when bicycling, skate boarding and Roller Blading is good thinking. Each student received 20 points for every yard the egg fell without spattering. Another brain tester was that the students had to imagine they were on a ship that went aground on an uncharted desert island. All that could be saved was some newspapers, and a short roll of tape. In teams of three or four they had to create a newspaper structure under which the maximum number of team members could fit in a 20-minute time limit. The problem was that the structure was required to be freestanding and use no external support. In addition, the structure could not rest on any team members who are inside. Thirty points were awarded for a freestanding construction. Twenty points for each team member who could fit under the structure. Needless to say, if they were really on an island they would be sleeping outside under the stars. Although the winners of the construction project, comprised of Nicholas Collins, Kristin Morgan, Matthew Eilar, and Kimberly Ashby, could not be entered, they won by creating a teepee with a fireplace. The team of Collins, Morgan, Eilar, and Ashby also took the overall winner.

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