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What is the Tournament of Minds?

Tournament of Minds (TOM) is an international inter-school program, designed to give students the opportunity to participate in creative activities involving stimulating open-ended challenges that demand experimentation, and reward divergent thinking. The activities aim to support learning and develop the role of individuals within a team structure, the challenges cover one of the following disciplines: Science and Technology, Engineering and Maths, Social Sciences, and Language and Literature.

Teams are made up of students from at least two year groups. There were 58 teams, including children from Primary and Secondary levels, participating in the Asia tournament from schools across Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Students demonstrated their genuine passion for learning and problem solving, utilising their skills and talents in an exciting, collaborative and competitive environment.

“Tournament of Minds offers real world benefits,” explained Valerie Thomas-Peter, Head of School, Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School (Bangkok Prep), a British international school located in the heart of Sukhumvit Road on Sukhumvit 53. “It’s a unique and dynamic setting that goes beyond academic achievement, challenging students to solve problems creatively as a team and think outside the box. This promotes the application of knowledge, and encourages risk taking. Essentially, Tournament of Minds mirrors what successful businesses practise.”

In March 2016, a group of Primary children aged 6 to 11 years from Bangkok Prep participated in the Tournament of Minds held at International School Bangkok. The students worked on a long-term challenge over six weeks, a spontaneous challenge and also a trail challenge on competition day. Team Bangkok Prep (students from Year two and three) were the youngest students to participate on the day, from over 50 participating schools in Asia. They wowed both audiences and judges, receiving some glowing feedback on their participation. They were placed as one of the top two teams on the trail challenge – “a fantastic achievement,” said Mrs Thomas-Peter.

“Tournament of Minds was a brilliant event this year and it really showed how talented students can be, when they work in teams and are put to the test to solve difficult challenges. The Year 5 and 6 TOM team showed enthusiasm and diligence and I am very proud of their efforts!” said Jacqueline Kyle, Year 5 teacher at Bangkok Prep.

Team Brainy Bulldogs (made up of students from Year 5 and 6) were also given excellent feedback on their skills. In the end, they came third in the primary division for their discipline (language and literature) on the combined results of the long term and the spontaneous challenges.

“Children had an amazing time, it was wonderful to see them interacting with children from different schools around the region, they gained so much from this experience!” said a Bangkok Prep parent.

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored content from Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School (Bangkok Prep).

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