The Tournament of Minds (ToMs) is an annual event. It engages participating schools and students in the Territory and around Australia. In more recent times, overseas countries have joined, giving TOM’s an increasingly international flavour.


“Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way.” (TOM’s website)

TOM’s encourages teamwork and sharing of responsibility. Teams are required to work together on a Long Term Challenge for six weeks prior to the finals without assistance from teachers, parents or peers

The 2018 NT Tournament of Minds (TOM’s)major Regional Final was held at Charles Darwin University on September 1. Seventy four (74) teams from 27 primary and secondary schools participated. Teams of up to seven students, tackled open-ended challenges in Language Literature, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), The Arts and Social Sciences. An earlier final was held for schools in the Katherine Region.

On the day of the final, students present their solution, the product of their long term challenge to a panel of judges and an audience of parents and visitors. They have ten minutes in which to present. They are offered feedback by the judges and scored against assessment criteria.

The teams also participate in an unseen Spontaneous Challenge. Teams have four minutes to discuss a problem read to them when entering the room. They then have ten minutes to construct and present their solution.

This year’s school winners and runner up honours follow.

Primary Language Literature:

Winner: Nakara Primary Team 3. Honours: Parap Primary (More Than Words)

Secondary Language Literature:
Winner: Essington Middle (The Magoos). Honours: Darwin Middle (Courts White)

Primary STEM:
Winner: Parap Primary (Gelida Impexis). Honours: Leanyer Primary (Marine Mega Minds)

Secondary STEM:
Winner: Essington Middle (Molardapoid). Honours: Darwin Middle (Rebecca Pan)

Primary Arts:
Winner: Parap Primary (Fusion). Honours: Essington Primary (7 Mads)

Secondary Arts:
Winner: Essington Middle (Time Warp). Honours: Good Shepherd Lutheran (Shruggers of Time)

Primary Social Sciences:
Winner: Anula Primary (Snappaturtlesoures!!!). Honours: Nakara Primary (Team 2)

Secondary Social Sciences:
Winner: Darwin Middle (Erin Shannon). Honours: Essington (Roths Moths)

St Paul’s Catholic School earned the ‘Spirit of Tournament’ Award.

The 2018 International TOM’s Final is being hosted by the NT. It will be held in Darwin at the CDU on 12 and 13 October. Teams from around Australia will be joined by those coming from New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

This will be an outstanding event.

Published in the NT Sun in September 2018

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