Tournament of Minds

Student competitions and scholarships New Zealand (nationwide)

Posted: 17 November 2023
Notice reference #: 1HAdxn

Tournament of Minds (TOM) is developed especially for talented and creative students across all sectors of primary, intermediate and secondary school education. It provides a dynamic approach to learning, whilst developing students’ enthusiasm for experimentation, problem finding and problem-solving. 

The skills encouraged in Tournament of Minds include co-operation, teamwork, risk-taking and creative, divergent and critical thinking.

In 2023 over 43 schools participated in one of the regional Tournaments in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington or Christchurch.

Workshops for facilitators are held online in term 1. The workshops are for schools who are considering taking part in Tournament of Minds for the first time. Returning schools are also welcome to attend.

Teams compete in one of three divisions – primary, intermediate or secondary. They select one challenge from language literature, social sciences, STEM or the arts. 

The team members work together for six weeks - without assistance from teachers, parents or peers - to develop a creative way to communicate their solution to a panel of judges and an audience, working within pre-determined parameters, complex criteria and the deadline of Tournament Day. 

Winners of each division at the regional competition, held in August, are invited to attend the national competition held at the end of term 3. Winners at the national competition are then invited to take part in the International Final held in Australia mid term 4.

And the final words from one, “Tournament of Minds is very hard to explain. However, I would like to suggest that this is because it continually refuses to be bound by rules and restrictions. It deliberately takes a bulldozer to boundaries, and encourages kids to think outside the box, or, for the Doctor Who fans among us, inside the box, because it's bigger on the inside!

Further information

Contact: Jocelyn Pollock

 (022) 063 7820