Tournament of Minds 2016 – from students’ perspective


Creative pupils around Thailand have once again reunited for the fifth annual Tournament Of the Minds (TOM), this year with the bonus of visitors from other countries including Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

The TOM final was a little bit nerve-wracking for some people – it was definitely their big day! We were given a specific time to perform our long term challenges. This is the task that we had 6 weeks to prepare. The research and development process of these challenges keeps the participants very active. It takes 6 weeks of preparation and only 10 minutes to present our whole performance. During these 6 weeks we meet up at lunch times, after school, on weekends and during Thursday afternoon activities. We have to build our own props and costumes, which can only be made of certain listed materials. We also get no help from teachers – we make everything ourselves.

All participating students agreed, “It was a fantastic experience and we all got a lot out of working together and competing against the other international schools.”

There is also a short term challenge which is called the spontaneous task. This year also had a new feature, where we had a checklist and had to ask other participants from other schools in order to complete the checklist. The checklist didn’t contain ANY easy tasks! It had things like ‘have a dance off’ and lots of other similar challenges.

Chin, Year 6, one of the winners in the Primary Maths and Engineering challenge said, “At first I thought we were going to lose but we won! I feel like being a Year 6 in the group is a real challenge because we are the oldest and in charge of the whole group.”

It was a fantastic experience and we all got a lot out of working together and competing against the other international schools.

The challenges that were given to us this year were especially puzzling:

– In the Language & Literature challenge we had to create a play which showed a character from a book spoiling the plot.

– In the Social Science challenge we had to remove three famous people from history and the contestants were given to us on a list. We had to present it in a creative and unique way.

– In the Maths & Engineering challenge we had to find a way to build a nearly invisible vehicle that could move on its own. The car needed to be able to hold a 250ml water bottle which was able to be lifted on and off the vehicle without human contact. We also needed to explain the reason for its invisibility and why the cargo needed to be transported.

• Our Secondary Language & Literature team consisted of Jiwon, David, Kim, Sebi, Jennisa, Jake and Pangmun. Their performance was about a detective who was trying to help the author find out who spoiled her story. It turned out that the main character was the guilty one.

• Our Secondary Social Science team included Arnon, Amy, Mas, Bente, Kyle, Eric and Yeonu. Their storyline was based around the world containing too much data and the need to remove famous and useful people from history through a game show. They had to make room because they needed space for ‘dank memes’.

• Our Secondary Maths & Engineering team’s members were Munin, Kevin, Ploom, Selina, Richard, Cael and Yujun. We decided to base our contribution on the real life situations of refugees and wars. Our plot was about a news reporter from the present visiting the future – a war zone filled with refugees. The vehicle takes the refugees to Utopia, away from the wars.

On the actual day of the tournament, the Spontaneous Challenge is always very interesting and gets people thinking.  This year’s task was to make up a word from the given letters and give a definition. Although some people might’ve never done this before, we have had practice during school.

Ploom from Year 8 said, “It was a good opportunity for me to co-operate with other people from different year groups.”