Problem Solvers Produce Place-getting Performance

By Michele Rodger | Posted: Thursday September 13, 2018

Our Year 7 and 8 Tournament of Minds (TOM) team was in lock-down mode for the first six weeks of this term as they worked on a long term challenge to deliver to judges at the regional championships on the 1st of September.

After a long week at camp, the Year 8s flew from Queenstown to Christchurch to meet with their Year 7 teammates to compete. Gaining a third place in the Social Sciences Intermediate Section is a testament to the hard work and excellent thinking processes they developed.

This year their challenge was to come up with a scenario explaining the backstory behind the remains of a fence they discovered. From prompts such as The Great Wall of China, The Berlin Wall, and China’s Green Fence the boys had to delve into the background and social context behind the imaginary fence they co-constructed.

The more experienced heads of Tom Dyer and Thomas Rasmussen guided the new team members of Ethan Leitch, Jack Howley, Wei-Hun Loh, Ewan Beadell, and Oliver McIver, to navigate the strict criteria that surround this competition. It was impressive to see their ten-minute presentation and props come together to deliver their solution. In a humorous and dramatic performance, they delivered their story about the intended and unintended consequences of containing a rare breed of Boxyte Leopard, deep in the Amazon.

TOM is an international programme, designed to give students the opportunity to participate in creative problem-solving activities involving stimulating open-ended challenges. Students are rewarded for innovation and divergent thinking. The challenges aim to support learning and develop individual roles within an effective team of seven. This can be a challenge enough at times, but very worthwhile in gaining skills tt help them become our effective problem solvers and decision makers of the future.

A very big thank you to Becky Rapson for her expert driving and support for the boys. 

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