About Tournament of Minds

Tournament of Minds is a problem solving program for teams of students from both primary and secondary years. Tournament's aim is to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a challenging and competitive environment.

They are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:

  • The Arts
    A new discipline for those who have a love for the visual and performing arts!
    The long term challenges will involve research before developing a creative interpretation in response to the Challenge. Plenty of opportunities for artistic expression in the form of dance, song, musical instruments, theatre and all forms of the Visual Arts.
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
    A new discipline starting in 2018.
    The combination of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles provides an integrated approach for students to deepen their conceptual understanding and use their creative and critical thinking skills to solve the challenges within an authentic context.
  • Language Literature
    Language Literature Challenges will involve in-depth analysis and research of texts from a variety of fields.
  • Social Sciences
    A journey through the moral and ethical issues confronting society in the 21st Century.

Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way.

The rapidly increasing and widespread involvement of thousands of participants throughout Australia and internationally, demonstrates that Tournament of Minds is not only a worthwhile investment in the education of our youth, but is also an integral part of our collective future.

See also: Getting Started

Real World Benefits

Tournament of Minds offers real world benefits as it looks beyond academic achievement and understands that the pursuit of excellence knows no boundaries.

The Tournament process provides a platform for excellence and equips participants with twenty-first century skills and strategies.

Objectives

  • Provide the stimulation of real, open-ended challenges
  • Develop creative problem solving approaches and techniques
  • Foster cooperative learning and team work
  • Promote knowledge and appreciation of self and others
  • Encourage experimentation and risk taking
  • Expand and reward creative and divergent thinking
  • Stimulate a spirit of inquiry and a love of learning
  • Develop enterprise
  • Celebrate excellence

Encouraging Teamwork

Teams are required to work together on a Long Term Challenge for six weeks without assistance from teachers, parents or peers. They are encouraged to explore possibilities and experiment with ideas as they endeavour to produce their best possible solution. They develop a creative and original way to communicate this solution to others, working within predefined parameters such as limited materials, complex challenge criteria and the deadline of Tournament Day.

Students present the product of their ideas - their challenge solution - to a panel of judges and an audience on Tournament Day. They have ten minutes in which to present and must do so within a 3 metre by 3 metre performance area.

The teams must also participate in an unseen Spontaneous Challenge on Tournament Day. This challenge requires rapid interchange of ideas, the ability to think creatively and well developed group cooperation skills.

Judges for both the Long Term and the Spontaneous Challenges are professionals chosen from all areas of education, the arts and industry. They are thoroughly trained to enable them to assess the creative performance and technical aspects of the presentation.

Every school within Australia is invited to participate.

Tournament of Minds is a celebration of the talents and capabilities of our youth. Thousands of parents, educators, and interested public flock annually to watch and enjoy the exhilarating spectacle of the presentations and the ingenious solutions created by motivated students who have accepted the Tournament challenge.

Teams of seven students from school entry to year ten are invited to participate within two divisions:

  • Teams in the Primary Division must be a mix of students from at least two year levels with a maximum of four students from any one year.
  • Teams in the Secondary Division must be a mix of students from at least two year levels (up to and including year ten) with a minimum of two students from the year of entry to secondary school in your state, and a maximum of four students from any one year.

We encourage involvement from anyone interested in the principles and aims of TOM. We would love to hear from you if you are interested in being involved in some capacity – perhaps as a Judge, a sponsor or a challenge writer.

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