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A battle of minds

ROP

Twenty-one Royal Oak Primary School children came back buzzing with excitement after pitting their minds against hundreds of others in a national competition in Wellington last month.

Tournament of Minds (TOM) is an international problem-solving programme for children in school Years 5 to 10. It encourages students to experiment with ideas and meet challenges through teamwork and creativity.

Royal Oak Primary entered three teams in the regional tournament, and all three came away with first place in their chosen categories of the Arts, Social Sciences and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). While they didn’t win a placing in the national tournament, deputy principal Felicity Boyd said the children all had a great time and performed excellently.

“They were competing with schools from across the country, so it was very exciting for them and being at Victoria University made them feel pretty special,” she said.

In the lead-up to the tournament, children worked independently for six weeks in teams of seven, to solve a challenge and develop a creative way to communicate their solution to others. On Tournament Day, they had just three hours to meet a new set of challenges and present to the judges by way of a short performance. Teams also participated in a spontaneous challenge with only ten minutes to come up with a solution. 

“The competition really tests the children’s collaboration and communication skills. It strengthens their ability to overcome adversity and reach a common goal. So there was lots of bonding and resilience required. They all did really well,” Ms Boyd said.

The organisers of the teams’ trip to Wellington faced their own fundraising and accommodation challenges, with just two weeks between the regional tournament and the national competition, and a major rugby game in the capital that same weekend. Royal Oak Primary is grateful to the Onehunga One Tree Hill Rotary Club for their support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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