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Two St Paul’s Warragul Junior School teams succeed at TOM International Finals

Date: October 28, 2019

Two teams from regional St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School recently came home as the international champions in their primary STEM and the Language Literature divisions of the 2019 Tournament of Minds (TOM) International Finals held at Hobart.

St Paul’s is the first Victorian school ever to win two primary school divisions at the TOM finals and the first Victorian school since 1994 to win the primary Language Literature division.

TOM is a problem-solving program for primary and secondary students that develops diverse skills through open-ended challenges across STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Language Literature, Social Sciences and the Arts disciplines.

Schools from Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Uganda, New Zealand, Thailand, India and the UAE participate in this international competition. The 2019 competition commenced with the regional competitions which had around 14,000 students participate this year from a range of Australian and overseas schools.

The STEM and Language Literature teams from St Paul’s represented Victoria at the international finals after attaining the primary Victorian state titles at the state final that was held at La Trobe University.

The students from both teams attend St Paul’s Warragul Junior School which runs TOM as part of their co-curricular program where students train during lunchtimes and after school (whereas many other schools train for TOM as part of their curriculum).

TOM actively encourages teamwork as teams participate in a six week ‘Long Term Challenge’ to produce a creative and original presentation for a solution to a problem that is unique to their challenge field. Each presentation is required to be presented in under ten minutes to a panel of judges and follow complex challenge criteria.  Teams also complete a short ‘Spontaneous Challenge’ on Tournament Day that requires the group to work together and think creatively and quickly on the spot.

The challenges in Language Literature involved in-depth analysis and research of texts from a variety of areas, whereas STEM challenges provide an integrated approach using creative and critical thinking skills to solve authentic context challenges.

During the final, students from both St Paul’s teams were able to deliver skills that employers looks for – reading and understanding a problem and then offering a solution to the problem.

This is the third consecutive year that St Paul’s has had a team compete in the TOM International Finals.