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School of Education hosts Tournament of Minds WA Finals

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

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A crowd of more than 1000 school children visited ECU’s Joondalup Campus recently for the regional and state finals of the Tournament of Minds WA competition.

ECU’s School of Education played a key role as sponsor and host for the event, with ECU staff serving as judges and more than 20 ECU secondary teaching students volunteering their time to help the days run smoothly.

The regional finals, held on Saturday 25 August, saw over 1000 students – plus family and supporters – descend on the Joondalup campus, with more than 70 local schools represented.

Director of Tournament of Minds WA and ECU Secondary Science Lecturer Dr Christa Norris said the event had grown significantly since 2017.

“We are so thrilled to see Tournament of Minds WA growing each year – we had 17 new schools join us in 2018 and we are looking to expand further in 2019,” she said.

An international initiative, Tournament of Minds is a problem-solving programme for teams of students from both primary and secondary years.

The tournament aims to enhance the potential of young people by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management and the discipline to work collaboratively in a challenging and competitive environment.

With a range of demanding, open-ended challenges from diverse disciplines – including The Arts, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Language Literature and Social Sciences – the tournament caters for a wide range of interests.

Dr Norris said this diversity and breadth of subject options allowed for children’s individual talents and interests to be fostered and expressed.

“This approach enables the kids’ individual skills to be showcased, and it gives them an opportunity to do something beyond the day-to-day curriculum,” she said.

“The tournament gives students a chance to develop their critical and creative thinking through problem solving.”

After the regional finals, a state final was held at ECU Joondalup on Sunday 9 September, with approximately 200 students in attendance.

School of Education Academic Coordinator for Industry Engagement Julie Boston said she was delighted the Tournament of Minds had returned to ECU for its sixth year running.

“The School of Education is so proud of our longstanding partnership with Tournament of Minds, given their mission to engage students in innovative and creative ways,” Ms Boston said.

“What we love about Tournament of Minds is that it gives academic kids an outlet to compete and be recognised in the similar way to how our culture recognises athletic achievement, which I think is so important for us as a university to support.”

Tournament of Minds has been running in Western Australia for 26 years, and is also sponsored by the Freemasons WA, the Catholic Education Office and Macquarie Dictionary.

Winning students from the state finals are now bound for the international Tournament of Minds finals in Darwin in December.

For more information on the 2018 event, visit the Tournament of Minds WA website.

To enquire about industry collaboration with ECU’s School of Education, contact Julie Boston.

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