There is nothing unusual about a meeting of minds, but there is only one Tournament of Minds.
A team of seven pupils from Launceston Church Grammar Primary School have joined more than 500 competitors in Darwin for the international finals of the annual competition.
Featuring both secondary and primary school students, TOM challenges students to provide solutions for open-ended problems in the disciplines of Arts, STEM, Language Literature, and Social Sciences.
Not only is every Australian state represented in this weekend’s competition, but also New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Thailand.
This is the second consecutive year Launceston Church Grammar has made it to the international finals of the Social Sciences category, having travelled to Adelaide for last year’s event. The school qualified for the final stage of the competition after triumphing in the state finals held earlier this year.
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.
This year’s team consists of Julian Gray, Summer Stewart, Stephanie Gtose, Eliza Woodcock-Davis, Oceane Ford, Alice Reid, Phoebe-Jean Thomson.
Junior Campus Head Jane King said the school encouraged their pupils to embrace the spirit of TOM.
“The tournament is about problem solving, but it also promotes tolerance, cooperation, respect and fair play,” she said.
“Our teachers work with our students to nurture a passion for learning and thinking, as well as for solving sophisticated problems.”
After taking part in Friday’s opening ceremony, the teams will be placed into lock down for three hours on Saturday morning to creatively and collaboratively solve a problem.
They will then be required to present their solutions in the afternoon.
It’s the culmination of many months’ work for Launceston Church Grammar staff Allison Bassano and Greta Paul, who have helped prepare the team for the tournament.
Mrs King said the pair had been instrumental in the team’s progression to the finals.
“They are highly-skilled educators who guide our students through that process of problem solving collaboratively as a team,” she said.
“It’s all about them being the best versions of themselves, both as a team and as individuals.
“We are very passionate about the tournament.”
The school also had a team in the Language Literature category, which made it as far as the state competition.