Mental muscles were bulging as 70 D.C. public school students from 6 to 14 years old competed in the recent Olympics of the Mind.
The event was sponsored by the city school system's Gifted and Talented Educational Program and funded by the United Black Fund of Greater Washington.
Jefferson Junior High School and River Terrace Elementary School teams took first place in a competition called "Wild Vibes," in which students were asked to develop and perform in a band that consisted of non-conventional musical instruments. Balloons, kitchen implements and bottles were among the "instruments" students used for their winning sounds.
The Jefferson team was made up of Wayne Fisher, Harriett Destry, Sonja Neill, Sherrod Stennard and Elizabeth Wasielewski. Team members from River Terrace were Raquel Winston, Kimberly Dillard, Donovan Strong, Chandra Hawkins and Reginald Johnson.
Another team from Jefferson Junior High School won in the "Robby, the Anti-Smoking Robot" competition. Team members were asked to develop a robot that could enter a circle, take a cigarette out of another robot's mouth or put the cigarette out, talk to the smoker and leave the circle. They couldn't spend more than $10 on the project and weren't allowed to use strings or sticks for power. The winning robot was powered by elastic.
Team members were Lari Huff, Kim Neal, Abdul Nuridden, Pamela Burnett and Melissa Littlefield.
Harris Elementary School won first place in the "Gone Fishing" category. Contestants had to find non-conventional ways to get wooden fish with metal hooks out of an imaginary pond. The more difficult to reach, the higher number of points the team would score for catching the fish.
Team members were Anissia Tyson, Nakoshia Lewis, Yeeta Ward, LaFonya Smith and Joseph Goodwin.