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Young minds put to the test

Junior and Middle School students took on the ultimate battle of the brains competition, the Tournament of Minds.

Queen Margaret College won a number of awards at the regional Wellington Tournament of Minds, with three teams qualifying for the national competition.

Tournament of Minds is a problem solving competition between schools in which students are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges involving Science and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Language Literature.

Teams were given six weeks to complete a prepared challenge for the regional competition, which was held at Hutt Intermediate School in early September.

In addition to the prepared challenge, students were also tested with a spontaneous challenge on the day.

In the junior category, QMC 1 won the Language Literature category, QMC 3 won the Engineering and Mathematics category, and QMC 2 came second in the Social Sciences category.

This was the first year Queen Margaret College entered a team into the Engineering and Mathematics category, making the win all the more impressive.

“We had to do a lot of research – it was very challenging,” Jaskiran Rahi says.

For the Language Literature prepared challenge, QMC 1 wrote and performed an original script using characters from literature, including Dory (Finding Nemo), Veruca Salt (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Cat in the Hat.

“We had to write the script and create all of the costumes and props ourselves,” Amelia Taylor (QMC 1) says.

“The judges marked us on how we expressed ourselves, presentation, costume, humour and our choice of words.”

Our Middle School students also impressed the regional judges with their quick thinking.

QMC 7 and QMC 6 took first and second in the senior Language Literature category respectively, while QMC 4 came second in the intermediate Social Sciences category.

“It felt amazing to win regionals, especially because the competition was much tougher than last year,” Phoebe Wood (QMC 7) says.

The senior Language Literature teams were tasked with creating a scenario involving different characters and personalities from movies, paintings, songs, and books.

“We had just under six weeks to complete this challenge, as well as creating props, costumes, and a short ten minute performance with a full script,” Samantha Morphew (QMC 7) explains.

Two weeks after the regional competition, QMC 1, QMC 7 and QMC 3 competed in the National Tournament of Minds, which involved a three hour surprise challenge, in addition to a spontaneous challenge which was sprung halfway through.

QMC 3 faced a difficult challenge in the Mathematics and Engineering category, which involved creating a game in the Olympics called the Standing High Jump.

“We had to create a scale person and a structure to spring them over the model high jump,” Jaskiran says.

Her team trialed a number of different concepts, including a catapult and a trampoline.

Competition was fierce and despite not coming home with the national titles this year, our girls demonstrated quick thinking, creativity and team work throughout all the challenges.

“We learnt how to work together and how to avoid disagreements,” Charlotte-Jane Mears says.

“It was a lot of fun – I would like to do it again next year.”

See below for the full list of regional winners:

Charlotte Mears, Rani Taylor, Sum Sum Tsui, Grace Bicknell, Amelia Taylor, Sophie Roberts and Maria Galatescu (QMC 1) won the Junior Language Literature category.

Isabella Barber, Mila Van Der Wilt, Samantha Morphew, Phoebe Wood, Millie Wilcox and Marie Katsanos (QMC 7) won the Senior Language Literature category.

Amelia Taylor, Kate Parker, Victoria Ryan, Isabella Eftimov, Rachel Vass, Emily Watts and Elena Revelant (QMC 6) came second in the Senior Language Literature.

Hannah Stevens, Daisy Carter, Sophia Phillips, Malena Joyce, Alice Egerton, Jaskiran Rahi and Mikayla Wratt (QMC 3) won the Junior Mathematics and Engineering category.

Naima Tepper, Gaby Dunphy, Divya Srinivasa, Nishka Parekh, Sophie Hearns, Emily Hannah and Anna Schofield-Matthews (QMC 2) came second in the Junior Social Sciences category.

Hayley Marsh, Emily Brown, Teneka Te Moananui, Anna Mercier, Elisabeth Matsis and Valentina Rivera-Chambost (QMC 4) came second in the Intermediate Social Sciences category.