A team of Girton Grammar secondary students has won the Australasian finals of the Tournament of Minds competition held in Sydney on the weekend, in the Applied Technology category, while the Primary Maths Engineering team achieved Honours placing them second in the National competition.
Teams in the Finals came from all over Australia as well as New Zealand, Thailand and Hong Kong.
The team of 7 students from years 7 to 10 were given 3 hours to solve a complex problem based on creating a Meccano machine, complete with relevant programming to help free a rover stuck on the surface of Mars.
Headmaster of Girton Grammar School, Matthew Maruff, said that being thrown a problem to solve within a limited time period using role play and teamwork was an excellent way to encourage students to become creative problem solvers and great decision makers.
“Apart from the complex problem itself, the students had to consider the ten minute presentation time limit and the three metre performance square.
“It’s really about living on your wits, which is something that young people are doing less as our lives become more predictable and information so readily available.
“Tournament of Minds encourages quick thinking and collaboration and it’s fantastic to see students having the courage to put themselves on the spot and work their way out of a problem.
“The rapid interchange of ideas makes for excellent and often entertaining viewing,” he said.
Tournament of Minds is a national competition open to students from Years 4 to 10 and involves presenting solutions to given and spontaneous problems. The four categories of problems are: Applied Technology, Maths/Engineering, Language/Literature and Social Sciences. This is the second year in a row that a Girton Grammar team has won the Applied Technology category of the National competition.
“Our winning team presented a dynamic presentation, including powerful dialogue, entertaining humour and some incredible ingenuity in design,” Mr Maruff said.