Six Middle School students headed to Adelaide at the end of October to compete in the Australian-Pacific final of Tournament of Minds after winning the New Zealand National tournament in September.
Year 7 student Hannah Stevens, Year 8s Elisabeth Matsis, Elena Revelant, Anna Mercier and Year 9s Emily Brown and Rachel Vass took out the tournament in the Social Sciences category.
Tournament of Minds is a problem solving competition between schools where students are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges including performance involving Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Language Literature.
Queen Margaret College entered five teams in the competition this year.
The Junior Language Literature team won their division in the Regional Finals and the Junior Engineering and Maths team came runner up in their category.
Junior Social Sciences and Middle School Maths and Engineering teams also took part in the regional competition.
The Middle School Social Sciences group say they are still buzzing after the Nationals win.
“It felt amazing to win and to know that our hard work paid off and all the nerves and discussions we had building up to that moment had been worth it,” Elisabeth says.
“To win Nationals felt so good. We went on stage and I had a feeling of pure accomplishment,” Elena adds.
Elena says her favourite part of Tournament of Minds was working with her team, brainstorming strategies to win and collaborating to highlight each other’s different skillsets.
“We had one term to prepare for the challenge in the Regional competition. All of our ideas were put together for this challenge and then combined everybody’s ideas together. We had some spontaneous challenges in between practices as well. For the National competition we practiced our three-hour challenge and a spontaneous in between so we could get a feel of what it would be like to take part in Nationals,” she says.
“I think our team was amazing this year and we worked together so well, I knew that we had a chance of winning,” she says.
Emily was part of the team that went to the Australian finals in 2015 and says it was “amazing and a bit shocking” to have the opportunity to head overseas again.
She says the girls spent the first half of the Friday before Nationals doing a practice challenge, which paid off in the final competition.
Anna says the girls learnt to work together as a team through the Regional and National challenges, and put this to work again in the Adelaide final.
“I think my favourite part of taking part in the competition was creating the different ideas and collaborating. I also enjoyed doing the performances. We all did our different jobs in our groups and put everything together.”