Tournament of Minds State Champions

Briar Lawson, Cindy Roche, Roslyn Castle (coach), Chelsea Rushton, Lucy Coulton, Hannah Smithson, Emma-Cate Larter, and Brie McDonald will compete against international Tournament of Minds teams in the Australasian final next month.

Tumut Public School Tournament of Minds Coach Roslyn Castle said there were “a few tears” last weekend, after the girls found out they had beaten every other school, public and private, in the state.

They will now compete against the best teams from Asia, Uganda, and the other Australian states and territories, in Adelaide next month.

The incredible achievement is the result of months of hard work, with the students giving up their lunchtimes, recesses, and hours before and after school to hone their skills. Now, it’s all paid off.

“It’s really fantastic that they got there,” said Ms Castle.

“We’ve been doing it for so many years, and last year we got Honours, which is similar to second, in the state, and then we cracked it this year.

“They worked really hard.”

Tournament of Minds is a multi-faceted learning competition that sees teams of seven students competing in four categories. The winning Tumut Public School team were the champions of the “Science Technology” category.

Each team has six weeks to respond to a challenge in their chosen category, which they present in a dramatic play at the regional finals. Those teams then have a two weeks turnaround to prepare a new challenge for the state finals. On top of that, they are also tested with a spontaneous challenge with only a few minutes to prepare.

The idea is to get students to stretch their skills in lateral thinking, creativity and teamwork, as well as in specific subject matter like ‘Science Technology’, and tools like Surface Pro and OneNote. They also make their own costumes, and learn how to write scripts for their productions.

In the spontaneous challenge the competitors don’t have any help responding to their challenge, so they have to learn to think critically in interpreting the question, double check their thought process, and stay calm under time pressure.

“The level of learning, and the things that they can learn, are just incredible,” said Ms Castle.

“It’s really good education and knowledge across a whole realm of things.”

The school is currently looking for sponsorship from local businesses to send the girls to compete in Adelaide, as the trip will cost over $1000 per student.

Contact Tumut Public School on 6947 2053 if you can help.

Two out of four Tumut Public teams made it to state, with the overall winning team being made up of Briar Lawson, Cindy Roche, Chelsea Rushton, Lucy Coulton, Hannah Smithson, Emma-Cate Larter, and Brie McDonald.