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06-04-2013

North Country Students Win Scholarships at Clarkson University MythOlympic Games Challenge

Two teams of North Country high-school students competed in the first annual MythOlympic Games at Clarkson University in early May.

Madrid-Waddington Central School team members Kieran Cassavaw, Alyssa Ryan, Nicolas Zeledon and Brendan O'Neil, and Potsdam Central School team members Sriveda Alety, Katie Burke, Taylor Rawsor and Shanna-Kay Hillary.The teams, from Madrid-Waddington Central School and Potsdam Central School, set out to determine whether subliminal messaging can influence people's outward physical actions and behavior.

The two teams researched, designed and conducted tests, and then presented their findings to a panel of experts. The format of the MythOlympic Games is similar to the popular television show “MythBusters.”

The student-teams had two months to test their theories, prepare a technical report, and produce a video presentation of their findings. Both teams were able to demonstrate the efficacy of priming and subliminal messaging to influence people’s behavior. 
The Madrid-Waddington team received gold medals, with each member earning a $5,000 annual scholarship to Clarkson University. The Potsdam team took home silver medals, with each student earning a $3,000 annual scholarship to Clarkson.

High school teacher Michelle Bresett coached the Madrid-Waddington team and high school teacher April Rossiter coached the Potsdam Central School team.

The MythOlympic Games and associated MythOlympics Training Camp at Clarkson engage academically talented students from New York state's North Country in hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics challenges. Both are made possible through the generous support of the Alcoa Foundation.   

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo Caption: North Country high-school students earned scholarships to Clarkson University, as well as silver and gold medals, in the first annual MythOlympic Games sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation. Pictured, left to right, are Madrid-Waddington Central School team members Kieran Cassavaw, Alyssa Ryan, Nicolas Zeledon and Brendan O'Neil, and Potsdam Central School team members Sriveda Alety, Katie Burke, Taylor Rawsor and Shanna-Kay Hillary. (Not present for photo: Potsdam team member Victoria Mondragon.)

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/myth-2013.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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