Academic opportunities

Tournament of Minds


Tournament of Minds (TOM) is a problem solving program for teams of students from both primary and secondary years. ¿¿¿They are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines:

               Applied Technology

               Language Literature

               Maths Engineering

               Social Sciences

Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant, and public way. ¿¿Tournament of Minds has been one of the fastest growing national interschool programs to challenge the youth of Australia and is now expanding internationally. It provides for the ever increasing demand for sophisticated, educational opportunities. The rapidly increasing and widespread involvement of thousands of participants throughout Australia and internationally, demonstrates that Tournament of Minds is not only a worthwhile investment in the education of our youth, but is also an integral part of our collective future. ¿¿Tournament's aim is to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a challenging and competitive environment.




The Tournament Objectives

               To provide the stimulation of real, open-ended challenges

               To develop creative problem solving approaches and techniques

               To foster cooperative learning and team work

               To promote knowledge and appreciation of self and others

               To encourage experimentation and risk taking

               To expand and reward creative and divergent thinking

               To stimulate a spirit of inquiry and a love of learning

               To develop enterprise

               To celebrate excellence



At GPS we love TOM. What is TOM, you may ask, and the answer to that is that TOM is one of the most amazing experiences you can have as a student. Tournament of Minds, affectionately known as TOM, is a combination of problem-solving and drama, which is open to primary and high school students from K-10. There are four divisions which schools can enter: Social Sciences (problems are based around Society and the Environment), Language / Literature (problems are based around literature and can include writing a poem, story, etc.), Maths/Engineering (teams have to design a functioning model to solve a problem and Applied Technology (using digital technology to produce a solution to the problem).



The Challenge?

In teams of seven students, with no more than four students from any one year, students have six weeks to create a ten-minute presentation, which creatively solves the problem from one of the four divisions.


The team has to demonstrate creativity, dramatic presentation, originality, teamwork and also fulfill all the presented criteria. No outside assistance is allowed, and everything from the script to costumes and sets has to be created within the time frame by the team members. At the conclusion of the six-week period, teams perform their piece to a panel of three judges and an audience at the Regional Competition which this year will be held at the University of Western Australia on Saturday.


At that time, teams are also required to participate in a Spontaneous Challenge, during which they are presented with a problem and have four minutes to solve and present a solution, whilst being judged on originality and the ability to work as a team: the solution is only presented to the panel of judges.

Here is an example of a Spontaneous Challenge the teams may be presented.


I looked up into the sky. I saw a rainbow with no colours! Where did the colours go?


GPS Facilitators:  Michelle McPhillips and Anna Mundey

The competitive arena awaits students with the chance to excel in public speaking, debating, web design, student newspapers, environmental management and much more.

Explore the DET arts unit's website to find out about state-based and national debating, public speaking and spelling events.