“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

B.B. King

What is the Tournament of Minds?

In 2023, Hillsmeade participated in TOM. The Tournament of Minds (TOM) is an academic competition focusing on collaborative problem-solving and critical thinking. It is open to primary and secondary students in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and several other locations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Each year, TOM releases a new challenge in four disciplines: The Arts, Language Literature, Social Sciences, and STEM. Teams of seven students work together to develop a creative and innovative solution to the challenge. They must then present their solution to a panel of judges in a live performance.

Why should a school participate in the Tournament of Minds?

There are many reasons why a school should participate in the Tournament of Minds. Here are just a few:

  • To develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. TOM challenges students to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to complex problems.
  • To foster teamwork and collaboration. TOM teams must work together effectively to develop and present their solutions.
  • To promote student self-confidence and leadership. TOM students have the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and to develop their own unique ideas.
  • To provide students with a platform to showcase their talents and creativity. TOM students have the opportunity to share their solutions with a wider audience and to be recognised for their achievements.

In addition to these benefits, TOM can also help to:

  • Improve school culture. TOM can help to create a more positive and supportive learning environment for all students.
  • Boost student engagement. TOM can help to motivate students to learn and to develop a deeper interest in their studies.
  • Attract and retain students. TOM can help to make a school more attractive to prospective students and their families.

Overall, the Tournament of Minds is a valuable educational experience that can benefit students in many ways. Schools participating in TOM clearly tell their students they value critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity.

Here are some specific examples of how TOM has helped students:

  • A team of students from a rural school used their TOM challenge to develop a new way to teach computer science to younger students. Their solution was so successful that schools across the country adopted it.
  • A team of students from a disadvantaged school used their TOM challenge to explore the issue of homelessness. Their presentation was so moving that it inspired the audience to donate money to a local homeless shelter.
  • A team of students from a multicultural school used their TOM challenge to create a new way to celebrate the diversity of their community. Their performance was so successful that it was invited to a local festival.

Hillsmeade Thrillers – TOM Team

The Art Challenge

Students were asked to create an immersive art experience for the International Arts Committee (IAC). They chose an artist from a given list, researched their artworks, and selected one artwork to use in the installation. The installation was a 3D representation of the artwork, no higher than 2 metres, and fit within a 3x3m square. It also included a copy of the original artwork, a soundscape, and performance art to assist in the installation. People were able to walk through the installation.

During the presentation, students explained the significance of their chosen artist and artwork, designed and assembled the 3D installation, developed an original soundscape, created a performance art routine to assemble the installation, and persuaded the IAC why their immersive art installation should be chosen.

In summary, students created a unique and immersive art experience that showcased their creativity and understanding of art. The installation was visually appealing, engaging, and thought-provoking. Students also explained the significance of their work and persuaded the judges that their installation was worthy of being included in the exhibition.